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The work of FAO

Asia-Pacific forestry commission
The Llancacura forest research and training center

Asia-Pacific forestry commission

Tokyo, Japan, was the location for the third session of the FAO Forestry Commission for Asia and the Pacific, held from 9 to 21 April 1955.

In the course of the session, delegates were afforded the opportunity of visiting the site of the Ogochi Dam near Tokyo, which will create a great reservoir to supply the City of Tokyo with water and hydroelectric power. A cableway installation was examined and private forests forming part of a Forest Owners' Association were visited. The management of these forests was explained and discussed.

On other days, delegates visited an exhibition of forest products, logging equipment, wood-working machinery, and prefabricated houses requiring a minimum amount of wood - an important consideration in Japan - - and Tokyo University where the facilities for higher forestry education were seen.

Study tour

There was also a four-day study tour to Nagoya and the vicinity, where members visited the Toki erosion control projects in Dachi township, started in 1922 on badly eroded land at the head-waters of a tributary of the Shonai River. Operations have included re-grading, terracing and step-work, afforestation and soil stabilization.

The delegates then visited the Kasugai Mill of the Oji Pulp Company in Kasugai City, and the next day the Kiso National Forest, where unfortunately a landslide caused by heavy rainfall curtailed their stay. On 18 April, the members visited the Port of Nagoya with its timber pools and other installations, and afterwards the Nagoya Plywood Manufacturing Company's mill, which uses both native woods and imported species such as Philippine mahogany.

Opening meeting

Excellent arrangements were made at Tokyo for the business meetings of the Commission, to which the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry welcomed the delegates. The Commission elected Mr. F. R. Amos (Philippines) as its new Chairman. Mr. Thiem Komkris (Thailand) was elected first Vive-Chairman and Mr. S. H. Prakoso (Indonesia) second Vice-Chairman. Mr. G. J. [lodger (Australia) was appointed Rapporteur for the session.

Mr.. Sakae Shibata, Director-General, Forestry Agency, Japan, was inducted as Honorary President of the Session. Addressing the Commission

Mr. Shibata stressed that forestry was an integral part of the national economy and the forests were treated as resources to be protected and renewed. Japan had about two-thirds of its land surface under forests but this was insufficient to meet the requirements of the large population and the country was, on balance, an importer of forest products. There was, therefore, a keen interest in the development of the tropical forests of the region. But, in replying, M. Marcel Leloup, Director of the Forestry Division, FAO, warned the meeting against undue optimism about the potentialities of these forests. The discussions at the Fourth World Forestry Congress had shown that many problems must be solved before tropical forests could be brought to anything like full production.

Technical items

The Secretary of the Commission C. S. Purkayastha (FAO), reported on the work undertaken by the Secretariat on the instructions of the Second Session (Singapore, 1952). The Commission then proceeded to study some of the technical forestry problems of concern to the region as a whole and decided on the priorities for future actions. It asked FAO to accord high priority in its program to the improvement of national statistics, to a technical study on the planning and management of fuelwood plantations, and to compilation of information on timbers useful for housing, following the pattern adopted by the Indian Standards Institute. It decided that a permanent working party on watershed management should be established to facilitate the exchange of information on this subject and encourage cooperation in research work. A training center on watershed management should be arranged. In another field, it recommended that a study of timber trends and prospects in the region be undertaken by FAO in collaboration with ECAFE.

The Commission issued directives to its working party on public education in forestry and to the groups dealing with standard nomenclature of trade timbers, grading of hardwood logs, and grading of sawn hardwoods. Final drafts of standard grading rules were to be submitted to the next session. FAO was asked to establish a regional inventory center, first to help countries in getting available aerial photographs interpreted, and then gradually to be developed into a research and training center in aerial-survey techniques.

Approval was given to the procedures under which the new Teak Sub-Commission would operate. The Commission appointed the Inspector-General of Forests, India, as the independent Chairman of this subcommission and accepted an invitation from Thailand to hold the first session at Bangkok in early 1956.

An important decision of the Commission was that the Director-General should establish two separate and independent regional research committees, one to co-ordinate silvicultural and forest management research (chairman to be nominated by India and rapporteur by Japan), and the other to deal with forest products research (chairman to be nominated by Australia and rapporteur by Malaya). The terms of reference of these committees were laid down. Meetings would be held in the course of regular sessions of the Commission. The next such session would be held in Bandung early in 1957, the Commission having accepted with great appreciation an invitation tendered on behalf of his Government by the delegate of Indonesia.

Progress in forestry

Considerable discussion was devoted to the technical assistance activities of FAO in the region, and also to the progress reports on national forest policy submitted by Member Governments. Many points of interest were raised.

The delegate of Indonesia illustrated the forestry problems arising on the island of Java from population pressure and reported a proposed solution through transplantation of part of the population to other underpopulated islands, intensified agriculture and stock breeding, and industrialization; and not through converting forest lands into other forms of land use.

A delegate of the United Kingdom explained the efforts made in Hong Kong to solve problems of water shortage and of supplies of cheap fuelwood, caused by an enormous increase in population. The Philippines' delegate described attempts made to enlist the co-operation of the entire population, from village to national level, in maintaining a forest cover of 42 percent of the total land surface in his country.

Fifty-eight representatives from seventeen member countries participated in the session: Australia, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, United Kingdom (Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Hong Kong), United States of America, and Viet-Nam. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was represented by an observer, as were the Holy See, United Nations (ECAFE), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The Llancacura forest research and training center

A co-operative project of FAO with the Government of Chile

On 11 February 1955 Señor Enrique Casas, Minister of Lands and Colonization, pulled a switch that started the motors for head saws in the modem sawmill at Llancacura. This marked the official inauguration of the Center1, the most ambitious FAO forestry project in Chile.

1The FAO Director of the center is Hubert L. Person (U.S.A.) and the Chilean Administrator is Constantino Cholaky. Other members of the FAO Technical Assistance Mission nuder its chief, E. I. Kotok now retiree, have all contributed a share, particularly L Hartman (Finland), in the design, construction sad initial operation of the sawmill.

The widespread interest in the center and appreciation of its value to Chile was evident from the large attendance and the expressions of approval from those who participated. The 140 guests included three Ministers of State, those for Lands and Colonization, for Agriculture and for the Interior, the Director of Forests and other government officials, Rectors of the University of Chile and University of the South at Valdivia and other educators, officials of the provinces of Valdivia and Osorno and many lumber men and timber owners.

These guests inspected the sawmill, power house and other buildings and equipment, lumber piling, operation of the charcoal kilns, the forest nursery and a demonstration of road building by large tractor-bulldozer. Time did not permit a general inspection of the forest operations, but a group of fifty people were taken by truck to the landing where loading of logs was in progress.

Llancacura Forest Reserve

The selection of this reserve for the center was made only after a careful study of all the possible alternative sites. It was recognized that lack of access except by water, and the limited forest area, were disadvantages. These shortcomings could however' be remedied if funds were provided commensurate with. the value of the center to the future of forestry in Chile. Advantages of the area were year-long accessibility by river' an excellent site for the sawmill and a wide range of topographic. and forest type and stand conditions representative of the commercial native forests of Southern Chile.

The Llancacura reserve, with an area of some 4,600 hectares, is located in Valdivia Province, immediately north of the Río Bueno, one of the finest rivers of Chile. Access at present is by motor-launch or river steamer from Trumao, a: railhead 30 kilometers northeast of Osorno. But construction of a three kilometer roadlink will permit truck transport directly to railroad at La Union, 32 kilometers distant.

Topography and climate

In common with other forested areas in this region, the topography is moderate to very steep. Slopes rise sharply, either directly from the river or from narrow bordering flats most of which are flooded during periods of high water. Small streams of steep gradient are common, in addition to the two main drainages one on the west boundary, the other on the east of the reserve. The southern part of the reserve has been partially cleared by settlers (coloños) but still contains a considerable area of forest. A number of ox-team roads provide access to the hijeulas (clearings).

The northern half of the reserve starting about five kilometers back from the river, is largely occupied by a well-forested, flat-topped ridge with moderate gradient upward to the northwest Elevations on the ridge are mainly from 450 to 600 meters with a few higher points

The combined effect of latitude (S 40°15') and coastal influence result in a climate at Llancacura similar to that of the coastal region of the State of Washington in the United States and British Columbia in Canada. The temperature range is moderate with no extreme of either heat or cold Freezing temperatures occur only occasionally and are of short duration.

Total annual rainfall is heavy (about 2,600 millimeters) and, though heaviest in the winter months of May to September, is usually adequate throughout the year. Almost continuous rainfall for extended periods during the wet season makes logging difficult, so that for year-long operation of the sawmill storage of logs at the mill and along all-weather roads will be necessary

Forest conditions

The original area of the reserve was 3,700 hectares to which has been added another unit of 900 hectares, making a total of 4,600 hectares. The undisturbed forest of the reserve includes one of the best stands of natural forest remaining in the coastal range between the rivers Valdivia and Bueno. It is composed principally of hardwoods characteristic of this region, with coígüe (Nothofagus dombeyi), ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia), tineo (Weinmannia trichosperma), tepa (Laurelia serrata), and olivillo (Aextoxicon punctatum) forming about 75-percent of the timber volume. Other important species limited to particular localities, governed by site and elevation, are roble (Nothofagus obliqua), laurel (Laurelia sempervivens) and lingue (Persea lingue), which occur at elevations below 600 meters, and raulí (Nothofagus procera) above this elevation. Trevo (Flotowia diacanthoides) is quite common but generally of poor quality, while canelo (Trimys winter), luma (Myrtus luma) and avellano (Guevina avelland) are common in the understory, occasionally occurring also as subdominants

Four coniferous species are found but, with the exception of a limited area of merchantable alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides), they occur mainly as reproduction or small trees, scattered singly or in patches in the understory. Of these, manio macho (Saxegothea conspicua) and manio hembra (Podocarpus nubigenus) are more common at the higher elevations, and manio (Podocarpus salignus) at the lower.

The volume of commercial timber of all species, according to preliminary estimates is about 189,000 cubic meters, the potential annual yield between 3,500 and 4,700 cubic meters This volume is insufficient to justify a sawmill of the size provided, about 60 cubic meters of daily capacity if considered purely from the viewpoint of a private operator. But it is adequate to provide the material needed to carry out the purposes of the center - research, demonstration and training. In addition, the available timber can be supplemented by purchase of logs delivered via the Rio Bueno, or adjacent forest properties can be acquired

Equipment and facilities

Plans for the center provide for a fully equipped logging and milling operation with modern equipment considered economically practical for exploitation of commercial forests of southern Chile. Present facilities include a modern, fully equipped sawmill, a limited amount of logging and log transport equipment, portable steel charcoal kilns, office shop storage and garage buildings, a limited amount of housing for workers, a water system and about 8 kilometers of truck roads, most of which will need surfacing for all-weather use.

The mill was designed not only to demonstrate efficient lumber production but also to permit independent operation and comparative tests for three types of sawmills. Thus logs may be delivered directly to the double circular head saw, to the band mill or to the Scandinavian table/circular saw. In normal operation, however, cants for the bandsaw will be produced by the circular mill and transferred by a conveyor system to the bandsaw Heavy slabs and unedged planks are transferred to the table/circular saw for resawing. Boards and planks less than 6.4 centimeters in thickness will be edged by the American edger. All slabs and edgings unsuitable for lumber are transported by conveyors to the short dimension stock section at the rear of the mill. Material unsuitable for short dimension stock is transported to the yard by means of carts on rails for conversion into charcoal.

An important feature of the mill is the sorting table with powered conveyor and the facilities for segregating and transporting lumber to the drying yard by means of lumber carts on rails moved by gravity.

All purchases of equipment were made through FAO, with consideration given both to the recommendations: of the Forestry Mission in Chile arid the currencies for expenditure available to the Organization.

Present equipment includes the following items:

1. North American circular headsaw, equipped with top saw rig, log turner, power receder for headblocks, horizontal lumber scale and sawdust drag;

2. Belgian log band saw (size 1.4 meter) with automatic and manual dividing apparatus;

3. Scandinavian light circular saw (ordinary type);

4. North American 2-saw edger;

5. 15-meter sorting table with powered 3-chain conveyor and trim saws (from Sweden);

6. cross chain conveyor from circular saw to band saw (from Sweden);

7. roller conveyor from band saw to sorting table (from: Sweden).

In addition, the following machines' were bought for the short dimension stock department:

1. swing cut of saw (Germany);

2. Swedish mechanized circular resaw for sawing short pieces

3. German circular edger for edging short pieces;

4. simple "travelling table" cross-cut saw (Sweden).

For the maintenance of sawblades, very complete tools and machinery were purchased, including the following main items:

1. complete filing and maintenance equipment for the log band saw (Belgium);

2. automatic filing machine for circular saws (Germany);

3. hand operated filing machine for circular saws (Sweden);

4. five sets of tools for hammering circular saws (anvil blocks, straight edges, hammers) and different types of swaying and brazing (soldering) apparatus, etc.;

5. air collector from Sweden for removal of sawdust from all machines except the American circular saw, which is equipped with a sawdust drag, as mentioned above;

6. in order to move logs to the main logdecks from the principal log yard on rails, a specially constructed log wagon, Decauville, (Sweden);

7. twenty lumber yard wagons, all equipped with ball bearings (Sweden);

8. after studying the question of the moat suitable power unit, two 85 Kw diesel, generating units: these were found to be more economical than a steam power unit and, in view of the rather short sawing season, the operating cost was cheaper also (Italy).

The construction of the sawmill was begun at Llancacura early in 1953 and was completed in December of that year but the first lumber was not cut until near the end of June 1954, because of delays in the delivery of the diesel power units.

Log production and transport

The main body of timber is located on a ridge at an elevation of 450 to 600 meters. A truck road of 7 kilometers has been constructed to this forest where exploitation is now in progress.

Felling and bucking will be done largely with cross-cut saws, but supplemented with gasoline motor-driven chain saws. Four chain saws, supplied without cost by Australia, will be used to determine the practicability of felling and bucking with power saws and efficiency in comparison with hand tools. The four saws include a small one-man saw with 24 inch (60 cm.) blade, two with 48 inch (120 cm.) blades and one with 60 inch (150 cm.).

It is planned to keep skidding distances for logs to a minimum and to yard to truck loading points, both with oxen and tractor. Two English diesel tractors with caterpillar tread - one of about 35 h.p. and the other 82 h.p. at drawbar - are available. Both units are equipped with winches and will be used to provide a comparison with oxen for ground skidding and bunching. A complete tractor-arch unit will be added to this equipment, particularly for long distance skidding, when funds are available. Delivery of a logging pan with chokers and other rigging is expected in 1955.

The large tractor is equipped with a hydraulically operated angle-dozer which has proved invaluable for the construction of roads at low cost.

Logs will be transported from woods to mill by truck, supplemented by wheel tractors with log wagons. One 8-ton platform truck was put into service at the center in December 1954 and a semi-trailer truck has been shipped - both from the United States.

Two diesel wheel-tractors of British manufacture were received early in the development of the center and have been very useful for general transport of equipment, material and personnel.

Research and training

Llancacura is a training center, not a business enterprise. Although production must be sufficient to allow determining costs and returns applicable to private forest industries, high production and profits will be subordinated to the more-important research and training functions of the center.

FIGURE 1. Logs being unloaded directly to the sawmill log deck from an 8-ton truck.

Research is needed to determine the most efficient and practical equipment and methods applicable to the native southern forests. This is necessary as a basis for a sound training program. This research program will include:

1. Management and silvicultural studies

To determine the most economical means of converting the natural, largely overmature forests to a fully productive managed forest, most important will be methods of cutting and natural regeneration studies.

2. Restoration of cut-over lands

(a) Restoration of cut-over stands with some established regeneration. There is a large acreage of cut-over land on sites unsuitable for agriculture that have not been repeatedly re-burned and which have some re-growth, both sprout and seedling, of the better species such as lingue, roble, raulí and avellano. Sample areas will be established and protected from fire and livestock to determine the rate of recovery and growth under different cultural treatments, such as:

(i) thinning and pruning of clumps,

(ii) control of competing vegetation where necessary to prevent sup, pression,

(iii) interplanting where necessary to obtain fully stocked stands - both with native species and with such exotics as Radiata pine, Douglas fir and Port Orford cedar.

(b) Plantations. In addition to the above interplanting, experimental plantations of several of the most promising exotic species will be established and staked to permit the study of survival and growth under different slope gradient and exposure, site and competitive conditions.

3. Logging studies

(a) Cost comparison studies of oxen and tractors.

(b) Log length studies to determine effect on volume and log quality and logging and transport costs;

(c) Felling and bucking costs for hand-saws and chainsaws.

4. Sawmilling

(a) Comparative efficiency of double circular and band headsaws.

(b) Air seasoning studies - piling methods, effect on rates of drying and degrade.

(c) Lumber grading studies.

5. Marketing studies

Preliminary surveys of marketability of various sizes and grades of lumber of the species available at Llancacura are needed as a guide to cutting and utilization practices at the center.

The most important single objective of the center is to provide facilities for training foremen, technicians, and forest engineers. This training should include wood and mill practices and techniques that will insure the continuous productivity of forest lands and the most efficient production and utilization of timber products. The program will cover training for three distinct groups - forestry students at the professional level, technical students and specialized workers and foremen from forest industries. For students from the School of Forestry, University of Chile (see Unasylva Vol. VII, No. 3) a ten-week summer school course was held in 1953 and 1954, and will be continued as a regular part of the course for the forest engineers. This course is integrated with the regular courses given at Santiago to provide practical training in the forest in silviculture, forest management and protection, mensuration and forest engineering, and logging and milling practices. Teaching at the professional level will be expanded as needed to take care of students from other universities, as at Conceptión and Valdivia.

Training was given in 1954 to forestry students from Temuco Technical School in sawmill and logging equipment operation and maintenance, in road location and construction, timber cruising, log scaling and forest fire suppression. This training will continue to be organized in co-operation with the Temuco school and other technical institutions that wish to go-operate.

High priority will be given in the future to organizing courses of special value to selected workers and foremen and technicians now privately employed in the forest industries. Training will be developed in go-operation with the lumber industry to cover subjects in such fields as management and cutting practices, variable log lengths, logging methods, sawmill operation and maintenance, saw maintenance, grading, piling and seasoning. The value of this training will increase as the comparative efficiency of different equipment and operating practices is determined by research.

Future possibilities

The Llancacura Forest Center offers exceptional opportunities and there are actually few, if any, such centers elsewhere in the world that can equal it in equipment and the other facilities necessary for the determination and demonstration of the most effective methods of forest management and exploitation.

The contribution that it makes to forest practices in Chile will depend largely on the support that it obtains from the forest industries them. selves. But in spite of many disappointments and difficulties, FAO and the Dirección de Bosques have developed the center to the point where it can now begin to fulfill its purpose, and are confident that it will receive co-operation and support.

FIGURE 2. View of the well-equipped saw maintenance room.. Automatic machine at left sharpens band saw while the "saw doctor" (center) and his assistant condition circular saws.

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