15-0608 v2.X Burned Wood Harvesting

Question:

We've found a very small local wood-working company that harvests standing burned/dead trees from nearby forest fires to mill into non-structural interior wood products such as doors and cabinets. Would this count as “salvaged” wood for Imperative 13, Responsible Industry?This local business, sending a small crew of people to cut small quantities of logs in burned areas that they can reach from existing roads. Fire-damaged areas are especially sensitive to erosion of steep slopes, sedimentation of streams, and interfering with regrowth and habitat. The very nature of a small scale operation like this seems to minimize concerns related to impacts of commercial logging.This inquiry has similarities to previous dialogue posts addressing beetle-killed wood. Exception I13-E3 (Materials Petal Handbook, MPH page17) references invasive species documentation to require prior approval and documentation of sustainable management practices akin to FSC principles and criteria. MPH, page 18 goes on to list a set of documentation requirements.How applicable is this documentation guidance to burned forests (since fire is not an invasive species)? If using I11-E3 for burned wood harvesting, how do we go about getting prior approval? Are the listed requirements (MPH page 18) in lieu of, or in addition to, FSC protocols? Or are there other best management practices should we use for burned forests? For example, this report from Quebec makes some interesting recommendations for forest management and logging in burned areas: http://www.mern.gouv.qc.ca/english/publications/forest/harvesting-burned-forests.pdf

Answer:

Salvage: 

Burned wood is not considered salvaged. For purposes of the Challenge, "salvaged" is defined as "used building materials that can be repurposed wholly in their current form or with slight refurbishment". 

Invasive Species: 

Exception I13-E3 Invasive Species is not applicable to burned wood unless a case is made thatthe burned wood remaing in place would be damaging to its eco-system. Pre-approval for I13-E3 and other LBC Exceptions that require pre-approval is through this Dialogue process. The listed requirements for I13-E3 in the May 2013 v2.1 Materials Petal Handbook (MPH p18) are based on FSC principals. Both the parenthetical and bulleted lists should be addressed in some form in a team's documentation of that Exception. At this time there is not an Exception for using burned wood. Based on the provided report there is a case in the Boreal forest for strictly controlled extraction of some burned wood, but it is not clear how those guidelines would apply to other eco-systems (such as your project location) in terms of specific tree species needs and extraction allowances post-fire. If allowed, best practices for using burned wood would likely be simliar, but not identical to the requirements for I13-E3, and would need to be approved on a case by case basis through the Dialogue.


Post ID 2970

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us