South Lake Tahoe WoodStraw

BLM Boise Releases 3 Year Revegetation Report Featuring WoodStraw®

The Boise office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has released its three-year performance monitoring report on erosion control and revegetation for the 2005 Snake One fire along the Snake River near Weiser, Idaho. This post-wildfire application was the first operational use of WoodStraw® wood strand erosion control material by the BLM anywhere in the United States. The WoodStraw® mulch was manufactured and supplied by Forest Concepts, LLC of Auburn, Washington.

BLM Natural Resource Specialist Cindy Fritz was assigned the task of monitoring the comparative performance of the WoodStraw® wood strand material versus areas conventionally mulched with agricultural straw. With help from Forest Concepts’ technical specialists, she evaluated the application rate and uniformity in the fall of 2005. Fritz revisited the site periodically for the next three years to evaluate the performance of the materials and rate of revegetation for both planted and natural species.

The 2008 third year “ESR Monitoring Report – Snake one (B19E)” assessment concludes as follows:

The new WoodStraw® product utilized at the request of NIFC [National Interagency Fire Center] personnel was found to be a superior product to the straw covering. The product dispersed more evenly in the area which resulted in a more uniform ground covering, it is weed free (cereal rye was found growing in the straw areas), and is a more porous product that allows moisture and sunlight to penetrate to the ground surface. We found that the aerially seeded perennial grasses and especially the big sagebrush did very well in these covered areas and that the cover and stability provided by the WoodStraw® may have improved the germination potential of the grass and sagebrush as germination rates overall in these areas were higher.

The BLM granted Forest Concepts permission to post the full report on our website Ms. Fritz reminds those scientists who might read the report that it is not a scientific study, but a compilation of observations and comments intended to guide resource managers facing similar situations in the future.

Forest Concepts’ patented WoodStraw® erosion control mulch is recycled from waste veneer, primarily Douglas fir, and, developed in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service Research Lab in Moscow, ID, was designed to meet the extreme requirements of erosion control for wildland fire rehab, mine reclamation and road maintenance/obliteration. Since Forest Concepts began manufacturing WoodStraw® ECM in 2005, more than 4,000 tons have been delivered to 21 national forests and 7 BLM districts. In 2007 WoodStraw® ECM was used in California for erosion control following the Angora Fire (South Lake Tahoe), the Larson Fire (Bishop BLM) and the Buckweed Fire (Angeles NF), and in June 2008 our entire inventory of WoodStraw® was helimulched on the ridges with hydrophobic soils as a result of the 2007 Castle Rock Fire above Ketchum, Idaho. Recently WoodStraw® was used by CAL FIRE, the Forest Service and BLM near Mariposa, CA to rehab dozer lines following the Telegraph Fire. Many of these more recent projects are a result of the dissemination of early data from the Snake One and other first year uses.

Established in December 1998, Forest Concepts, LLC is a forest products company with a new way of thinking about the industry and markets for wood-based materials. Products and technologies created during the past ten years enable renewal of forest communities through value-added utilization of small diameter materials and other woody biomass. The Company is a nationally recognized leader in the commercialization of new uses for smallwood and biomass that are available as co-products of forest management and wildfire protection. The skilled engineers and technologist of Forest Concepts develop and manufacture specialized smallwood structures and related materials for the habitat enhancement, threatened and endangered species protection, erosion control, environmental restoration, green building, and landscape markets. Recent development projects are yielding new enabling technologies that reduce the cost and increase the availability of woody biomass for production of second generation biofuels. For more information visit our corporate web site Digital photos are available.

Michael C. (Mike) Perry
Chief Executive Officer
Ph: (253) 333-9663

Cindy Fritz
Natural Resource Specialist, ESR Coord.
Idaho BLM, Boise District Office
Ph: (208) 384-3416