SPOKANE, Wash. — A group of researchers and industry leaders will gather Feb. 25-27 to explore the complex challenge of managing the densely stocked stands of small diameter trees that cover almost half of Inland Northwest forests. These overstocked stands of low vigor and high mortality trees have been of increasing concern because of their tendency for increased risk of insects, disease and wildfire.

“Small Diameter Timber: Resource Management, Manufacturing and Markets” is the theme of a symposium to be held at the West Coast Grand Hotel at the Park in Spokane. The symposium is co-sponsored by Washington State University, University of Idaho, U.S. Forest Service, Inland Northwest Forest Products Research Consortium, Rural Technology Initiative, Inland Empire Society of American Foresters and Inland Empire Section of the Forest Products Society.

In the early 1900s, many forests burned across the west. Since that time, fire exclusion and management practices have resulted in the overstocked stands. Today, small trees currently cover 63 million acres or 44 percent of the Inland Northwest.

In addition to discussions of management of such stands, the meeting will also draw attention to the national significance of the small diameter timber resource. New developments in management, harvesting systems, manufacturing products using small-log processing and wood drying practices, and market issues for wood products made from small trees will be presented through a mix of three days of general and concurrent sessions. More than 45 speakers from 18 states and Canada will present results of completed and ongoing activities related to management and use of densely stocked stands of small-diameter trees.

The keynote address, “Forests with Crowded Trees of Small Diameters — A Global Issue Affecting Forest Sustainability,” will be presented by Chadwick D. Oliver, Yale University – Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies and director of the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry. David Smith, Society of American Foresters president, will speak on “Forestry in the Future.”

Additional information is available by accessing ext.nrs.wsu.edu/small-diameter or contacting symposium co-chair Dave Baumgartner at 509/335-2964 or baumgartner@wsu.edu. Registration questions can be directed to WSU at 509/335-2921.