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Wood Pulp and Paper
Soft coniferous woods, low in resin, such as spruce, balsam fir, hemlock and yellow pine are preferred for the manufacture of pulp for papermaking. Number of usable species has increased greatly owing to the improvement in manufacturing process. Poplar, jack pine, white fir, beech, birch and maple are the other species in current use.
One of the important wood pulp regions lies in the area, which includes the Great Lakes states, north Atlantic states and southern Canada. Here the manufacture of wood pulp is carried on nearer the forests than the consuming areas. Pulpwood has a low value per unit of weight and it is one of the important items of furnished product. As such the pulp mills have been located near forests and near the paper mills.
With the improvement in the chemical processes, the pulp industry has developed in the western and southern forests. About 50 percent of the pulp and about 331/3 per cent of the paper in the U.S. are produced in the southern forests.
The European wood pulp industry is on the whole better managed than that in North America. The forest furnishes a constant supply of pulp logs, and heavy precipitation and rugged topography furnish abundant pure water and hydroelectric power-the basic requirements of pulp and paper industry.
The chief factors influencing the location of paper factories in most European countries are accessibility to larger consuming centres, proximity to water and land transportation facilities, soft water in abundance and power facilities.
Two great regions, east central North America and Europe manufacture about 90 per cent of the wood pulp and paper of the world.
Modern paper mills are located in one of three different types of places, according to the kind of paper they make. Large modern plants making newsprint lie near forests; those making quality papers are as near large centres of population as raw materials and power supply permit such localization; other mills making tissue, wrapping and paper boards are widely scattered.
The eastern provinces of Canada lead by far in the production of newsprint, wood pulp and pulpwood. These commodities comprise about one-fourth of the exports.
World production of mechanical pulp and chemical pulp amounted to 30 million metric tons and 62 million metric tons respectively in 1985. U.S.A, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Japan and Norway are the important wood pulp producers in the world producing about 26 million metric tons, 12 million metric tons, 5 million metric tons, 5.8 million metric tons, 4.8 million metric tons, 4.5 million metric tons, and 2.8 million metric tons respectively.
Conservation of Forests: The story of forestry is one of exploitation and then conservation. With the rapid increase in demand for timbers, pulpwood, fuel-wood, etc. in the world, forest has been subject to rapid exploitation by man throughout the ages. Besides reckless cutting of timbers by man there are other factors, i.e., fire, insects, diseases and windstorm which are also responsible for the forest drain to some extent. Saw-timber drain is alarming and poses a serious problem-as the drain with regard to saw-timber exceeds the growth by about 52 per cent.
Recently the importance of forests has been realized and different scientific policies have been adopted to attain the maximum possible satisfaction from the forests by making their use rational and by conserving them. One of the greatest enemies of forest is fire. In dry seasons, hunters and visitors should be forbidden to enter the forest. The burning of forest waste should be done after a heavy rain or snowfall.
Another way of conserving the forest is the prevention of waste in lumbering and in preparing the lumber for use. More attention is to be given to the treatment of lumber with chemicals to prevent decay and destruction by insects. Large-scale afforestation is also necessary for the conservation of forests.
Lately the importance of conserving the forests has been realized and different policies has been taken in different countries to stop the reckless destruction of forest and to attain maximum possible satisfaction with due regard to forest needs.