The burning question: Addressing harvest residue management in B.C.

By Eric Nance, Dominik Roeser, Carly A. Phillips, Caren C. Dymond and Werner A. Kurz
Canadian Biomass Magazine
February 15, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The management of harvest residues has long been a challenge for British Columbian operators who are tasked with balancing wildfire fuel loading, planting space, and financial, operational, and regulatory constraints. Now, society’s concerns about carbon emissions have been added to that list and practices will have to change. Common practice in the industry today includes either leaving residues piled in the cutting area to decompose or open-burning residues with the practice of slash-pile burning (SPB). While these low-cost treatments may meet the minimum management requirements, more needs to be done to improve their use and management moving forward. SPB is a considerable emissions source, producing an array of harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) and particulate matter, and accelerating the release of carbon to the atmosphere. These factors enhance climate change and have negative human health impacts. In some areas, open burning of residues can also have negative impacts on ecological functions…

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