Fibre Supply

2017-2018 Projects

Click on each title below for project details

Prevention of Hemlock Sinkers

This project focuses on reducing losses from sinking hemlock bundles in log booms. The density of live hemlock will be monitored during the seasonal cycles for an entire year. FPInnovations will determine the rate of hemlock log water uptake under ambient air conditions and in water conditions. FPInnovations will also investigate the effect of stump/log height on flotation and assess methods for improving flotation.

  • Develop techniques to prevent losses from hemlock sinkage.
  • Complete and integrate four years of earlier hemlock sinker research.

Effective Compliance With Caribou Habitat Guidelines

From a wildlife perspective, new guidelines for caribou habitat management that have been introduced in many provinces, including Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and B.C., are restricting harvesting activity in the boreal forest. Operations are constrained into short time spans and minimal disturbance, including limited forest road deployment on the landscape. This project will focus on how logging strategies can comply with these new regulations in the most effective manner.

  • Evaluate how logging strategies comply with the new caribou habitat management regulations.

Weather-Proofing Harvest Operations

Climate change and the associated increase in the frequency of extreme weather events are affecting harvesting and hauling operations. One major effect of climate change is the reduced duration and higher temperatures of the winter season and associated freeze periods. These effects are significantly impacting forest harvest operations, which have traditionally relied on the winter season to harvest on soft and sensitive sites.

The industry is already experiencing challenges of reduced access for winter logging, more soft-ground operations, and more frequent summer fire closures from extended droughts. Increased salvage logging can also be expected as operators deal with disturbances caused by more fires, insect outbreaks, and windthrow. Increased winter precipitation will bring higher risks of erosion, landslides, and flooding to forest operations. This project aims to develop strategies and approaches to help forest operations cope with these changes.

  • Study the use of light detection and ranging-generated wet-area maps imbedded in machine navigation systems.
  • Complete field trials to test strategies and working methods that would allow skidding on soft ground without causing unacceptable soil disturbance (e.g., lower ground pressure machines or trail consolidation).

Innovative Zero-Waste Practices

This project focuses on B.C. forest companies that need assistance in developing techniques to utilize fibre from residue and marginal stands. Using this fibre is a desirable alternative to burning debris piles or disposing of residues at landfills. The alternative to not harvesting the profile of small wood in the timber harvest land base may be a reduced regional annual allowable cut. The project could provide an increase of 2 million cubic metres of economically available fibre and up to $5/m3 of reduced wood costs.

  • Conduct a sensitivity analysis on the modification of merchantable specifications (e.g., top diameter).
  • Identify sources for residue suitable for pulp applications and provide samples for detailed lab assessments.
  • Develop strategies to reduce the cost of delivered fibre derived from secondary harvest and marginal stands.

Contractor Capacity Building

To help industry in increasing the operational efficiency and financial success of its wood fibre producers, a business skills workshop and a contractor diagnostic package were successfully developed in 2014–2015. Since then, a large number of workshops were given across the country and several diagnostics were conducted. Several member companies have expressed interest in these services, and a number of fee-forservice opportunities have also been identified through various provincial funding envelopes. There is a need to consolidate these offerings in a service package aimed at increasing overall contractor sustainability.

  • Continue providing the workshop and diagnostic services to members and other clients, and continue updating and improving the content.
  • Increase delivery capacity by mentoring key FPInnovations regional staff in the delivery and maintenance of these two service packages.

Sustainability Assessments of Forest Operations

To fully benefit from sustainability certifications, increased accessibility to green markets, carbon credit revenue, and a positive public image, forestry companies are keen to understand how sustainable their operations are and how to maintain and increase their sustainability levels. There is particular interest in the impact of additional biomass recovery on the sustainability performance indicators. Similarly, to support sustainability policies, provincial and federal levels of government are interested in sustainability impact assessments of forest operations. This project will focus on the sustainability aspects of forest biomass harvesting. These assessments will identify biomass heat and power applications in remote and indigenous communities, comparisons between Canadian and international biomass supply chains, and innovative harvesting and biomass recovery supply chains.

  • Investigate the integration of climate change mitigation objectives within the framework of forest biomass sustainability.
  • Implement sustainability indicators developed at the global and national levels.

Further Development of FPInnovations’ Telematics Tools

In 2011, FPInnovations introduced the FPDat data logger, the FPCom data communication system, and the FPTrak data-hosting web portal. Since then, the technology has proven popular among industry and contractors across Canada, with over 800 data loggers installed in various machines and contexts. Several testimonials have been received about the positive benefits of the on-board GPS navigation system, the tracking of machine utilization, and downtime, providing excellent base data for continuous improvement strategies and the ease of access of the information through the website and automated functions.

To enhance the performance of the FPDat/FPCom/FPTrak platform and better respond to user needs, new features are required, such as additional reporting capabilities, new key performance indicators to monitor, map features, and others. While FPDat is efficient for collecting spatial and time-based information, there are challenges to collecting production-based information (i.e., cubic metres, tonnes). However, very good volume information is collected by cut-to-length harvester/processor heads and is stored in files that follow the StanForD format. FPInnovations has started collaborating with major equipment manufacturers to develop data transfer pathways so that the production data files from the cut-to-length heads can be sent automatically to the FPTrak website and be combined with other data streams to generate various productivity key performance indicators.

  • Ensure improved reliability and performance for end users, responding to requests for additional features.
  • Develop automated data transfer pathways for the production data collected by harvester/processor cut-to-length heads to FPTrak.