Program 89

AIRDATE:05/20/03

PROMO: Huge fires like the House River fire of June 2002 raise a number of environmental and economic issues.

Companies such as Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries race against the clock to salvage burned wood before it deteriorates

Forest ecologists caution that newly burned areas provide unique habitat for post-fire species of plants, insects and birds

In light of the increasing number of large fires, the Alberta Government formulates new fire salvage protocols

And on the terabyte front, WESTGrid launches its super computer network for researchers in Alberta and British Columbia

AUDIO: Download Audio (mp3 format)

ITEM:1

TITLE: Vince Eggleston, Forest Operations Planner, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
SUBJECT: #89 Fire Salvage in the House River Fire Site
SYNOPSIS: The fire at House River near Fort McMurray in northern Alberta burned over 255,000 hectares in June 2002. The covers a huge significant portion of the Alberta-Pacific forest management area. The pulp company has now set aside most of its normal harvest plans to salvage what it can of the burned wood before it deteriorates beyond an economically useful state. As forest operations planner Vince Eggleston explains, despite the narrow time frame to salvage the burned trees, Al-Pac still has to follow the same harvest guidelines set out for green harvesting.

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ITEM:2

TITLE: Sean Plamondon, Feller Buncher Operator, Tchir Logging Contractors
SUBJECT: #89 Fire Salvage in the House River Fire Site
SYNOPSIS: Salvaging in a burned forest requires more work and diligence on the part of the feller buncher operator, as Sean Plamondon explains.

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ITEM:3

TITLE: Rob Thompson, Forest Officer, Lac La Biche Forest Area, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
SUBJECT: #89 Fire Salvage in the House River Fire Site
SYNOPSIS: Forest officer Rob Thompson of Lac La Biche keeps a watchful eye on Al-Pac's salvage operations. The increasing number of catestrophic forest fires due to continuing drought conditions has prompted the Alberta Government to established protocols for salvage logging. These will incorporate ecological considerations as well as economic ones.

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ITEM:4

TITLE: Dr. Elston Dzus, Biologist, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
SUBJECT: #89 Fire Salvage in the House River Fire Site
SYNOPSIS: Biologist Dr. Elston Dzus cautions against salvaging too much burned timber. Fire is part of the natural process of renewal in the boreal forest. Certain species of beetles, birds and plants require standing burned timber as habitat. How much salvage is enough is part of a collaborative study involving Alberta-Pacific and a number of research organizations.

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ITEM:5

TITLE: Simon Dyer, Forest Ecologist, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
SUBJECT: #89 Fire Salvage in the House River Fire Site
SYNOPSIS: Forest ecologist Simon Dyer of Alberta-Pacific looks at newly burned forests as unique and necessary habitat, saying there are critical gaps in our undstanding of post-fire ecosystems.

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ITEM:6

TITLE: Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, Professor, Computing Sciences, University of Alberta, and Principal Investigator, WESTGrid
SUBJECT: #89 WESTGrid
SYNOPSIS: WESTGrid puts researchers in Alberta and British Columbia at the absoolute leading edge in terms of computing power. By combing the computer resources of 8 research institutions, scientists here now have access to hyper cyber power in the order of terabytes, making WESTGrid the envy of the world. Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer. a computing science professor at the University of Alberta, is one of five principal investigators who helped make WESTGrid a reality.

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