Big Bark Backup...in November's Biocycle Mag
You won't be able to read this story I wrote for the Nov. issue of BioCycle without an account, but I thought I'd post a link here anyway. The gist: Last year, China went nuts importing soft woods from the Pacific Northwest to serve its booming housing sector. It was a record year for the region. However, China only accepts debarked logs due to concerns over important bark-borne pests. As a result, massive piles of bark were left behind at ports in Washington and Oregon. My story is about how wood-product processors and retailers dealt with the surplus: primarily by slowly absorbing it into existing hog-fuel, mulch, and compost markets. Some of the bark is still likely being dealt with, and slowly decomposing as it waits. The lesson? This could happen again, and best to be prepared.