Thesis Title: Red Alder: A Qualitative Supply Chain Analysis in Coastal British Columbia, Canada
Abstract: Red alder (Alnus rubra, Bong.) has been identified as a potentially important species in the literature related to climate change in coastal British Columbia (BC). This research project was conducted to address the question, “What steps are needed to develop an integrated hardwood supply chain in coastal BC?” Using multiple informant interviews, and combining these with secondary data sources and a social and historical context, the aim of this study was to generate recommendations on what steps would be needed to develop a viable hardwood supply chain on the coast of BC. The major issues that were identified during the literature review were combined with ones that emerged during the interviews, and together, form the results of this study. Specifically, key emergent issues revolved around timber supply, products, markets, production, and the supply chain for red alder. The results of the study shed light on a perceived conifer bias, the need to evaluate the existing red alder forest inventory, variation in hardwood harvest methods, the potential impacts of climate change, and the impact government forest policy has on the hardwood industry in BC. Further results pertained to the manufacturing and marketing of non-commodity (value-added) wood products, and the challenges to actors throughout the hardwood supply chain in 2011. Based on the review of existing literature and the results of this study, a large and coordinated effort will be required to adequately develop the supply chain given the existing economic conditions. Strategic decisions need to be implemented at many different levels to foster a vibrant hardwood supply chain. The current hardwood supply chain in coastal BC is weakening, and inefficiencies are present throughout the supply chain. Transforming this body of knowledge into a cohesive plan is what is needed to foster a vibrant and competitive hardwood manufacturing industry on the coast of BC that includes red alder.
Current Position: Independent Forestry Consultant, Vancouver, BC, Canada