Residual Fibre Recovery

Improving the use of post-harvest timber is a  B.C. government initiative. It supports new forest industries that use lower quality timber, mitigates future timber supply shortfalls due to insect infestation (mountain pine beetle) and wildfires and reduces carbon emissions through less need for slash burning of post-harvest waste. 

There are a number of initiatives that can improve the use of waste timber (residual fibre) from primary harvesting left on road sides and landings within cut blocks which would otherwise be burned.

Fibre Recovery Process

The fibre recovery process focuses on improving the use of lower-quality timber in areas of the province where there is a demand for the residual fibre from secondary users (pulp mills, pellet plants, bioenergy facilities, and other users of low quality logs) and business-to-business relationships have not been established. 

The most efficient and effective method of using residual fibre is for primary harvesters and secondary users to form business-to-business relationships. This leads to cost-effective removal of residual fibre through integrated methods, or “one pass” harvesting. Primary harvesters and secondary users are encouraged to share information on harvesting opportunities to start the fibre recovery process.

Where business-to-business relationships cannot be established, the natural resource district manager may:

  • Establish a fibre recovery zone whereby, within a geographic area, primary harvesters are required to provide notice declaring:
    • If they will be using the residual fibre, and
    • Whether or not they are abandoning their rights to the residual fibre
  • Allocate rights to use roadside and landing residual fibre to the holder of one of the following fibre recovery tenures:
  • Issue a “do not destroy” order to the primary harvester if there is concern that the primary harvester may destroy residual fibre prior to it being harvested through a fibre recovery tenure.

Learn more about fibre recovery process guidelines (PDF).

Handling Roadside Residue

Traditionally, logging residue was piled into conical piles. This slowed down recovery operations as the tangled "beaver dam" piles had to be torn apart in order to break up the residue or load it. In addition, conical piling of residue incorporates more inorganics into the piles, reducing the quality of available residual fibre.

Learn the best practices to maximize efficiencies and minimize the costs of harvesting secondary fibre:

Estimates of Residual Fibre

The B.C. government has been working with FPInnovations to determine inventories of economic residual fibre  within the province. FPInnovations are in the process of completing a number reports which provide estimates of recoverable fibre (biomass) that could be available for roadside comminution (ground into chips) at various cost thresholds. The analysis excludes merchantable roundwood that would be removed during conventional harvesting assumes all cutblocks are clearcut harvested with stems processed at roadside.

Biomass inventories are available for the following Timber Supply Areas:

Additional reports will be posted on this site as they are completed.

Pricing & Review of Lower Quality Fibre

Forest waste and residue from standing or felled timber that is not reserved from cutting and remains on site upon the completion of primary logging of each cut block or at the expiry of the agreement is measured.

A pre-harvest waste assessment process for the Interior has been developed that provides for special forest products pricing to residual material delivered to a secondary manufacturing facility. This process supports concurrent harvesting. 


During the Spring of 2018, seven workshops were delivered to promote greater utilization of residual fibre.  A series of presentations were made by speakers from FPInnovations, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.   Copies of presentations are available for download:

Fibre Recovery Zones

Fibre Recovery Licence Templates

Contact us for current licence templates.