WOODY FIBER FARMING: AN ECOLOGICALLY SOUND AND PRODUCTIVE USE OF RIGHTS-OF-WAY

THE TRANSPORTATION AND TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE ESTIMATED TO HAVE MORE THAN 22 MILLION ACRES OF RIGHTS-OF-WAY OF WHICH APPROXIMATELY 6 MILLION ACRES ARE FOREST LAND. THE PRESENT ANNUAL NATIONAL MAINTENANCE COST FOR MOWING, CUTTING, BURNING, AND SPRAYING IS ESTIMATED TO BE AT LEAST $200 MILLION, AN AMOUNT THAT INCREASES EACH YEAR. THE SERIOUS NATIONAL CONCERN ABOUT AIR AND WATER POLLUTION HAS ALREADY ENCOURAGED SOME VOLUNTARY AND SOME LEGISLATIVE ACTION TO ELIMINATE BURNING AND SPRAYING. IN THE ABSENCE OF THESE TECHNIQUES, MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE INCREASED BY A FACTOR OF FIVE, AND THE FUTURE ANNUAL MAINTENANCE BILL MAY BE $1 BILLION IF ALL BURNING AND CHEMICAL SPRAYING ARE STOPPED. BIOMASS, NUTRIENT, AND PULPING STUDIES LED TO THE COMPLETE TREE CONCEPT IN 1964. AN EVOLUTION OF THIS CONCEPT IS THE PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION OF THE CURRENTLY NON-COMMERCIAL TREE AND SHRUB SPECIES, COMMONLY CALLED "PUCKERBRUSH," THAT OCCUR ON RIGHTS-OF-WAY. THESE SPECIES WILL PRODUCE USEFUL PAPER AND PAPERBOARD PRODUCTS IN LESS PULPING TIME THAN COMMERCIAL TREE SPECIES. BECAUSE "PUCKERBRUSH" IS NOT LARGE, 10 TO 30 FT IN HEIGHT, AND BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY STEMS PER ACRE, SPECIAL HARVESTING EQUIPMENT MUST BE DEVELOPED. NATURALLY OCCURRING "PUCKERBRUSH" ON RIGHTS-OF-WAY CAN BE HARVESTED IN 10-TO 15-YEAR CYCLES. GROWTH CAN BE AUGUMENTED BY USE OF FERTILIZERS AND BY DELIBERATELY DEVELOPING GENETICALLY SUPERIOR SPECIES. THUS, IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE TO DERIVE FROM THE MANAGEMENT OF RIGHTS-OF-WAY ON FORESTED LAND A NET PROFIT THAT WILL DRASTICALLY REDUCE THE OVERALL RIGHT-OF-WAY MAINTENANCE COST.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 15-23
  • Monograph Title: Planting and managing highway roadsides
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00205227
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309020832
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 7 1973 12:00AM