Spotted Owl Plan Spurs Fresh Conflict
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on a new draft recovery plan for the spotted owl.
The proposal contains two options for dealing with the biggest new threat to the spotted owl: encroaching barred owls, which have been displacing the threatened species.
One option includes a map of lands in national forests that would be reserved for spotted owl habitat. The other option would let forest managers make the decision and provides guidelines.
The owl, listed as a threatened species in 1990, was protected in a system of reserves under the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994, dividing environmentalists and the forest products industry.
Now, both sides are staking out opposing positions to the new draft recovery plan.
The American Forest Resource Council, an industry group, favors the second option. “Option Two allows them to put the lines on the map based on where the owls really are and what they’re using,” said Chris West, vice president of the council.
Bob Sallinger, conservation director of the Audubon Society in Portland, Ore., said neither option is acceptable. He called the proposal “an extinction plan.”
Indiana Mill Tests CT Scan Technology
A Purdue University researcher is overseeing a project this summer at a sawmill in Indiana that has been fitted with equipment to make CT scans of logs.
Computed tomography or CT scans are high resolution x-rays; they have been used for years in health care to look inside people.
The technology is being tested to look inside logs to detect knots, cracks and other imperfections. If a CT scan can reveal accurately the inside of the log, a mill can better decide how to saw the log to get the most high quality lumber.
The technology could have a big impact on the hardwood industry if it is effective at optimizing the yield of high quality lumber from logs. It also could impact how uncut logs are bought and sold.
The project being overseen by Rado Gazo will compare logs that have been cut with the aid of a CT scan with other logs that have not. Rado is working on the project with Sun Joseph Chang, a forestry professor at Louisiana State University.
Sawmill Companies Recognized for Safety
The Southern Forest Products Association recognized five member sawmills companies with its annual sawmill safety award.
The award is presented annually to companies in recognition of outstanding safety records for the previous year. Member companies submit information on total employee hours worked and cases of occupational injuries and illnesses.
The award is presented in three divisions: for sawmills that produce less than 50 million board of lumber annually (division 1), those that produce 51-150 million (division 2), and those that exceed 150 million (division 3).
Lampe & Malphrus Lumber Co. in Smithfield, N.C. was the winner in division 1, and Anthony Forest Products in Atlanta, Tex. was the winner in division 2.
Three companies were recognized in division 3: Hood Industries in Waynesboro, Miss., and two Weyerhaeuser Co. mills, one in New Bern, N.C. and another in Taylor, La.
The awards were scheduled to be presented to representatives of the winning companies at the Forest Products Machinery and Equipment Exposition in Atlanta June 21-23.