Timber Measurement Intermountain District Meeting,
Coeur d' Alene Idaho, April 4-5, 2007

There were 71 members in attendance from western US and Canada. This is one of the largest turnouts in many years, which is quite impressive given the generally dismal market conditions for forest products these days. Below is a summary of the presentations and downloadable PDF versions of their PowerPoint presentations. To view the minutes of the meeting, click here. Next year's Intermountain chapter meeting will tentatively be held in Coeur d' Alene Idaho on April 2-3.

State of Idaho standing timber inventory – Wayne Koski - Idaho Department of Lands

Wayne gave an overview of the inventory, classification and management of Idaho's endowment lands. These lands were granted the state of Idaho by the president of the US when it entered statehood in 1890. The endowment mandates the state manage the lands in a manner that generates the best long-term funding for certain public institutions, such as schools. To view the presentation click here.  

Determining mill usage and log yard inventory via scanners – Matt Fonseca – Plum Creek Timber Company

Matt discussed the various methods used to inventory logs stored in decks; the accounting processes used to calculate usage and cross reference with deliveries, physical inventory and usage expected via pegged recoveries ("book inventory"). Matt went on to show that scanners, which are installed in most sawmills and veneer/plywood plants, for product optimization, can accurately measure usage. This scanner derived usage can then be used to corroborate physical inventory derived usage, which is often predisposed to being less accurate than is desirable for the monthly P&L statements. To view the presentation, click here. 


Northwest Log Rules Advisory Group update – Tom St.Laurent – Yamhill Log Scaling and Grading Bureau

Tom gave a brief history on the NWLAG, which was founded in 1951 to provide a forum for the scaling bureaus and agencies to discuss scaling problems and standardize scaling and grading procedures - not only to the NWLAG rules, but also in conjunction with the USFS regulations. Tom discussed some new changes to the USFS scaling rules which bring clarity to the vague instructions for oversize knots and slope of grain. Tom also pointed out that the NWLAG scaling and grading rule handbooks can be downloaded from their website. To view the NWLAG website click here.

Blue Stain in Ponderosa pine – Russ Carrier – Boise Building Solutions

Russ discussed the cause and effects of blue stain in our western species. He also covered his personal experience, at Boise Building in Kettle Falls, WA, to prevent and minimize the effects of this disfiguring grade problem in pines and spruce. They have an initiative to mitigate losses by insuring prompt delivery of logs after harvest and to store logs in a manner that does not allow blue-stain or the related pond-stain (occurs from watering to prevent blue stain) to reach levels that are preventable. Click here to see Russ's presentation.

Data transfer options for scaling – David Dean - Electronic Data Solutions

David demonstrated wireless data transfer for handheld data recorders. The system operates with RF technology and can send information securely, directly to the receiving PC or main-frame without having to travel to the docking station to hook cables. The range is certainly suitable for most scaling applications at a mill log-yard. For more information contact David at david@elecdata.com and visit his company's website here

Automated scaling station and scanner – Scott Dodson – Vaagen Brothers

Scott gave an overview of the automated scaling station that Vaagen's is using to scale logs, most of which are purchased on a ton basis. The system operates on a porter scanner with an interface that David Dean designed to translate scanned measurements into log scale information and to account for bark thickness and defects based on input from the scaler (who sits at a temperature controlled work station with a computer monitor, video display of the far-end of the log, and a view of the log. The system accurately scales the logs in cubic and Scribner and utilized the porter optimization software to simulate recovered product and thus value. On top of providing an accurate log volume, the system gives real-time break-even value. To view the presentation, click here.

New Mensuration Products – Jon Aschenbach, Atterbury Consultants

Jon showed off some of the new products that they are marketing for recording log and timber data.  They have a complete selection of lazer range-finders, data-recorders, software and setups for using palm pilot for recording data. For more information contact Jon at jaschenbach@atterbury.com
and visit his company's website here.
Status of forest insects in the Northern region – Lee Pederson – United States Forest Service

Lee gave us a reporting on the status of insect attacks on western forests, a bit about the biological drivers of these pests and an overview of what the USFS is doing to manage insect attacks via timber harvest and other efforts. Lee had some information on the catastrophic mountain pine beetle infestation which is killing vast areas of lodgepole pine in the interior of British Columbia and perhaps elsewhere. As Jim Crover from the BC Ministry of Forest Service was in attendance, he was able to elaborate on this huge event which has devastated so much of BC's lodgepole pine stands and is responsible for what must be the largest timber salvage event ever undertaken. To see Lee's presentation, click here.

Status of Forest diseases in the Northern region – Holly Kearns – United States Forest Service

Holly went over the causes of disease in our region (fungi, parasitic plants, bacteria/viruses, and nematodes), environmental conditions and species preference, as well as significance. She covered the management options for controlling these pathogens, most of which are native (excepting the devastating "white pine blister rust"). Holly also pointed out that while those of us in the roundwood measurement and wood product arenas may not care for disease; most of these pathogens are part of the ecosystem and provide benefit in terms of nutrient recycling and providing wildlife habitat. To see Holly's presentation, click here.

Scaling procedures for top-wood attached sales – Pete Van Sickle – I.D.L.

Pete instructed everybody on the new scaling procedures used for sub-sawlog material that is attached to sawlog volume. Given the poor lumber market, but good pulp log market there is demand for topwood or small stems which in the past were not profitable. Currently topwood is sold on a lump-sum basis, which is based on cruised MBF volume. Pete said that the current guidelines are evolving and will be modified and improved as needed after consultation with industry and gaining experience. For the time being, however, a scaling system is in place and it seems to be accommodating current needs. Click here to view Pete's presentation.

Mike Rose organized a great log roll-out at the Stimson Seltice log-yard. Many thanks to him and Stimson for hosting the rollout. Most of the attendees of the meeting participated in the day-two log roll-out whereby everybody scales the logs; their volumes are recorded; and a "school-book answer is developed for every log based on agreed measurements, procedures, rule application, and bucking to assess proper judgment. There were 51 very defective logs (>35% defect) and it seems that Mike was motivated to show us the extent of volume loss caused from Scolytus scars in the grand fir (most of us were surprised how extensive the loss was once the logs were bucked). No doubt these were some very tough logs. Congratulations go to Jerry Youmans and Josh Sakasky who both tied for the net volume closest to the school book answer. With sunny skies and a temperature over 60 degrees (15 C), scaling does not get any better than this roll-out (especially if they remember the blizzard at the April 1997 meeting/rollout)

TMS Intermountain District Officers and Contacts

Chairman:                     Rick Schroeder              (208) 659-4822             rschroeder@rileycreek.com

Vice Chairman:              Randy Queen                (509) 979-6994             queenbee@povn.com

Secretary Treasurer:       Russ Hogan                  (208) 691-1496             rhogan@ibsp.idaho.gov


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 Updated 2007-05-06