The guest speaker at our 2007 annual meeting was Scott Leavengood who discussed the importance of a well thought out comprehensive plan for the commercialization of a species. He related the experience learned in Eastern Oregon when they attempted to commercialize juniper. Markets were developed and manufacturing infrastructure was created only to discover the required volume of raw material did not materialize. In this case the project collapsed with the failure of this critical third leg. During the discussion following the presentation members present agreed the Association should proceed with initial planning for the commercialization of Valley ponderosa pine. The Executive committee has developed a plan as suggested.
Strategy and Work Plan
Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Commercialization
Successful commercialization of a species takes careful planning and implementation. The plan must identify the resource base and the long term supply. A complete understanding of the wood characteristics and properties is necessary before grading standards can be developed that are necessary for the acceptance of future products. While all areas of the work plan are in play at the same time, confirmation of the resource supply and identification of positive wood characteristics are prerequisites for success. If either of these fails to meet expectations then the strategy will need to be revised.
Resource Supply – Identify the current and potential Valley ponderosa pine supply from both native stands and plantations. Consider Valley ponderosa plantation spacing options and yield potential.
Wood Characteristics – Research the qualities and properties of Valley ponderosa pine for mechanical, chemical and wood characteristics.
Potential Products – The arena of potential products is diverse and includes traditional wood uses, bio-mass from small wood, chemicals including resins and oils, waste material for chips and mulch, decorative uses such as pine straw and cones and plantation values for wildlife habitat and water shed protection.
Production Costs – Develop realistic cost estimates for plantation establishment, harvesting entries at various ages and material and manufacturing techniques required for a wide range of products.
Implementation – The key promoters will be the WVPPCA, OSU wood initiative and private champions. Funding will likely depend on successful progress and seed money will develop via grants and private support. The resource supply estimates can be determined using aerial photos and plantation records. Work has already been discussed to identify wood characteristics with OSU and the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB).
This is a long term plan that envisions a range of products that ramps up to a sizable economic venture as today’s plantations reach harvest age. It is ambitious but the WVPPCA has a record of vision and making things happen.