NARA representatives Tammi Laninga and Rene Zamora were guest speakers at the WCLA conference held recently in Spokane Washington. Tammi introduced the NARA project to the audience, and more specifically, described how the IDX team is mapping out regional supply chains in the Pacific Northwest. Once finished with her presentation, the audience, comprised of logging contractors, timberland owners and equipment providers, had more questions than the agenda could accommodate. Here is a list of some of the questions:
How long does it take to go from wood to jet fuel?
If you make jet fuel, shouldn’t you produce it near the airports?
Are you transporting chips or whole residue?
Is Federal land considered?
What is the potential environmental impact of this industry?
Do you think that this industry will stimulate increased forest thinning?
Does the conversion process produce much waste?
How clean do the chips need to be?
Rene Zamora was a graduate student and now a post-doctoral researcher with John Session’s group at Oregon State University. He described his work, funded by NARA, to maximize chip volume for transport. In addition, he reviewed the RENO simulation model used to calculate optimal layouts and equipment use for transporting and processing forest residuals. After his presentation, two questions were asked:
What is the chip size required for conversion?
Does the blower used to pack the chips dry the material?
For those who had additional questions, Charles Burke manned a NARA exhibitor booth.
The message received form other speakers during this two-day conference offered an optimistic view of the timber and housing market for the next few years. This message mirrored the views expressed by speakers at the Western Wood Processors Association meeting held in Portland. These positive projections evidently made an impact. The WCLA held their 17th annual “loggers for kids” banquet and auction. The auction raised over $60,000 for Children’s Medical Network and the Children’s hospital and far surpassed the amount raised in previous years.