SPIB Holds Firm, Despite Alternatives

Originally published by: SBCADecember 12, 2011

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SBCA and its Southern Pine Design Values Working Group have done our best over the past two months to use every possible approach to foster a positive outcome to the Southern Pine Lumber (SP) design value issue.  However, based on the letter issued by Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) President James Loy, this week (click on the pdf link below to view the letter), it appears SPIB is unwilling to consider any alternate approach to the one they took.

Given this disappointing response, SBCA will take the following actions in preparation for the American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) Board of Review meeting scheduled for January 5, 2012:

  1. All focus will go into the ALSC meeting advocating that the full matrix of testing be performed as there is really no need to rush through this process as SPIB has chosen to do.
  2. Alternative approaches that will be advocated include that ALSC remand the process back to SPIB to:
    1. Complete the full testing prior to submitting design value changes to SPIB.
    2. Revise their in-grade test program goals and objectives to break them into two parts – testing to maintain the SP grade and design values as currently defined and a modification of the SP Mixed Southern Pine grade to capture more of the timber that fits into that current grade.

Additional updates on this topic include:

  1. Mark Rey, former Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working very hard on this issue with the goal of ALSC providing a path forward that allows the SP design values to be maintained as they currently are.
  2. Timber Products Inspection has provided an innovative solution to maintaining the SP design values as they currently are. A strong focus is now going to be placed on implementing this approach to provide SP lumber that has the design values needed for in process projects. For more information please contact Mr Gilbert Travis, Travis Lumber Company at 479-928-4446 or Timber Products Inspection at 770-922-8000.
  3. The report from the mid-November “Southern Pine Design Value Forum” facilitated by the Southern Forest Products Association is expected to be released this week. The findings and recommendations in this report include a tremendously insightful and persuasive set of facts for a prudent path forward and will be strongly advocated by all involved in this at the forthcoming ALSC meeting.

You can find all the latest information on the SP design value issue on SBCA’s lumber web page: www.sbcindustry.com/lumber.php.

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