Thanks to a five-year, $4 million federal grant from the Forest Service International Programs Office, the Wood Identification and Screening Center (WISC) is moving to Oregon State University, where it will join the College of Forestry. The WISC was established three years ago to combat the illegal timber trade by using wood samples and their unique chemical signatures to identify the origin and species of wood in lumber, furniture and even musical instruments. According to WISC Director Beth Lebow, illegal logging is the third most profitable transnational crime and costs the U.S. timber industry up to $1 billion annually. According to the World Economic Forum, half of all tropical deforestation is illegal.
Companies in the U.S. are banned under the federal Lacey Act from buying or selling illegally sourced timber products, and the WISC can help companies comply with the act and validate their supply chains in the future. When a wood product is imported, the importer has to submit a Lacey Act declaration that states the genus and species, as well as the origin of the wood. The WISC also works with other government agencies including Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection System.
The WISC lab uses specialized mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical signatures in toothpick-sized wood samples no larger than a toothpick. Cross-referencing the signature with others in its database, WISC can determine a product’s genus and species within seconds. To date, WISC has collected 16,000 chemical signatures from 1,100 wood species.
U.S. housing starts dipped slightly in September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.555 million, down 1.6% from August, but 7.4% above September 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development monthly…
By customer request Mellott Manufacturing Co., Inc. is now offering the model 70E log flare butt reducer—designed and built with the same rugged quality as the LMR debarkers and all the Mellott product lines. Adding a log flare butt reducer to a mill infeed system will vastly reduce log handling problems…
USNR and Wood Fiber Group have announced their merger. USNR is an industry-leading global supplier of sawmill and plywood mill machinery, aftermarket parts, and technical and engineering services. Wood Fiber Group is the largest supplier of cutting tools and filing room equipment to the wood products…
George W. Varn, Sr., who broke into the family turpentine business following World War II, and then along with a cousin built a chip mill and a sawmill in the late 1960s in Hoboken, Ga., called Varn Wood Products, and who became one of the patriarchs of the southern pine lumber industry, died September 4 in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., the same hospital…
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