Mary Ann Van Osdell, Reed, Donald P., Pan, Hui
News Release Distributed 02/08/10
CALHOUN, La. – Louisiana forest landowners heard about ways to improve timber, wildlife and product value from their lands at an LSU AgCenter forum recently.
Topics ranged from feral hogs to value-added chemical products from recycled wood at the event held Jan. 16 at the LSU AgCenter Calhoun Research Station.
LSU AgCenter scientists are conducting research on wood liquefaction, a process in which treated wood is ground and liquefied in a solvent to separate chemicals originally used in the preservative from non-toxic liquefied wood that can be used for resins, molded wood products, foams and plastics.
The research at the station involves both improving and refining the liquefaction process and developing applications of liquefied wood for value-added products, said Dr. Hui Pan, the LSU AgCenter scientist working on the project.
The recycling technology benefits the treated-wood industry – both manufacturers and end users of treated wood products – as well as forest landowners, Pan said. The process will help manufacturers and end users reduce their legal liability associated with current disposal methods.
Calling Pan’s work “exceptional research,” Buck Vandersteen of the Louisiana Forestry Association said that after Hurricane Katrina, St. Tammany Parish had piles of distressed trees and lumber. “Had we had this research Dr. Pan is doing here, we could possibly have utilized that distressed wood,” he said.
Corralling and trapping feral hogs are ways to control them on forest land, said Dr. Don Reed, LSU AgCenter forestry and wildlife specialist.
In a 2008 survey, 80 percent of the respondents reported feral hogs on their land and 95 percent indicated problems with food plots and timber resources, Reed said.
He warned landowners to wear gloves when butchering a feral hog. Meat infected with the disease brucellosis is safe to eat once it is cooked, but raw meat should be handled with disposable latex or rubber gloves, Reed said.
Brucellosis in people can cause serious flu-like symptoms that last for months to years. Domestic swine are vaccinated for the disease.
Reed said feral hogs are the most prolific wild game animal in North America and can weigh up to 400 pounds.
Tending to travel in groups, their home range is influenced by the abundance of food. “They are opportunistic omnivores,” Reed said. They eat most anything in their path – plant or animal or even carrion.
“They also put away a lot of acorns and earthworms,” he said.
“We have had research plots destroyed by feral hogs at the Red River Research Station,” said Dr. David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor.
Boethel added that the LSU AgCenter values working with Louisiana Tech University on forest research programs and value-added forestry programs.Mary Ann Van Osdell