Pacific NW Bamboo Agro-forestry Workshop

Gib Cooper bambugib at
Wed Oct 4 00:55:10 EDT 1995


On June 24-25, 1994 one hundred bamboo professionals and enthusiasts
convened in Gold Beach, Oregon to focus on the future of the fledgling
bamboo industry in the region.

The participants listened to a day of presentations by a series of
speakers. The presentations were as follows:            

American Bamboo Industry - Past, Present & Future: Comparison/Contrast 
to China. Presented by Gib Cooper.

Agro - Forestry Uses for Bamboo in the Pacific Northwest. Presented by 
Karl Bareis.

Northwest Experiences in Bamboo Agro-Forestry. Presented by Rick Valley.

Bamboo on the Farm. Presented by Daphne Lewis.

Research Program for Bamboo Pulp and
Paper Production. Presented by Daryl Ehrensing.

Timber Bamboo. Presented By Richard Haubrich, founding president of the
American Bamboo Society (ABS).

Development of a Bamboo Plantation in Vietnam. Presented by Simon 

As part of the workshop a mini-tradeshow appeared along the side areas 
of the hall. Displays were set up by bamboo nurseries, a bamboo importer, 
and a harvester of fresh bamboo shoots and poles.

On the final day of the workshop a lively brainstorming session was
facilitated by Daryl Ehrensing, of Oregon State University, Corvallis,
Oregon.The group set out to prioritize goals and develop a strategy for
accomplishment, to appoint responsible group chairs, and to set date, 
and location of next workshop. After three hours of vigorous brainstorming 
by the group, a list of seven goals was developed and assigned to 
responsible groups.

The projects listed as most important and possible to accomplish are as

1.  Municipal sewage applications
   In many areas municipalities use spray irrigation over 
large fields for final treatment of sewage waste. An experimental bamboo 
plantation using one of these facilities was proposed.
   This method of handling sewage waste water appears to 
have hayfields or golf courses as the main recipients. Although hybrid 
poplars have been observed growing under these experimental conditions.

2.  Riparian improvement
   Many streams and rivers in the Pacific Northwest  
affected by logging, livestock, and other human activities. Natural 
resource agencies and private landowners are revegetating miles of these 
disturbed water courses.
   On public lands the goal is to replant the areas with native species. 
Some landowners want to replant private riparian areas with bamboo. Bamboo 
would create a beneficial environment for aquatic life by cooling the water 
with shade and providing food for fish. A strip of bamboo alongside a stream
would buffer the riparian zone from cattle and other livestock. Bamboo
rhizomes knit and hold the fragile stream bank soils from flooding and
erosion. Landowners would be growing a marketable crop of bamboo poles,
plants and bamboo shoots.

3.  Survey of interest in computer networking
  There is an important need to promote communications between people 
working with bamboo worldwide. A proposed method for accomplishing this 
goal is through information networking via computer telecommunications.
  Before the international bamboo community can be interconnected a
suitable communications path must be chosen that is accessible to all. 
The chosen vehicle to make this decision is an international survey of all 
the institutions and individuals creating bamboo information for 
  Funding for the project could be requested from the world bamboo 
societies and institutions involved.

4.  Determination of target species for pulp, poles, shoots, and craft
  American bamboo growing is in its infancy. More knowledge is needed 
concerning the best bamboo species to grow for various 
purposes in the variety of climates found in the Pacific Northwest.
  It was proposed that coordinated research efforts be undertaken 
through literature searches and test cropping as many species as possible.

5.  Proceedings of the workshop
  The compilation of the papers and the group discussion 
period of the Pacific Northwest Bamboo Agro-forestry Workshop is to be 
published. The format is a 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch book, similar to the books 
reprinted by Herb and Patricia Hillery of the A.B.S. bookstore.

6.  Development of other goals for researchers
  As bamboo growing progresses in the U.S.A. new 
information will be needed. The bamboo agro-forestry group will have to 
determine research goals and funding sources. Cooperation and communications 
between institutions and individuals will be a most important facet any 

7.  Formation of grower, cottage industry and marketing coops
  A sizable number of the participants of the bamboo workshop represented 
people working in the region's bamboo trades. The group as a whole felt 
the need to organize efforts in the area of specialty.
  Bamboo growers with nurseries felt more cooperation 
would be beneficial to consumers. Supply and demand problems could be 
tackled on a group basis as a trade association.
  Bamboo crafters need to be more organized to broaden the 
market. A larger market and variety of products could be made available 
to consumers.
  Marketing coops for producers of bamboo poles, fiber and 
bamboo shoots are needed to amass quantities of supply as might be needed for
manufacturers and distributors.

The Pacific Northwest Bamboo Agro-forestry workshop was coordinated by 
Gib Cooper.

Funding for the workshop was provided by:
The Promotion Committee, Gold Beach Chamber of Commerce

The Pacific NW Chapter of the American Bamboo Society

Oregon State University, Extension Office

The date and place of the next Pacific Northwest Bamboo Agro-forestry
Workshop has not been determined. The Gold Beach Chamber of Commerce 
would consider funding requests from the coordinator. However, other sources 
of funding would need to be sought.

For further communication contact:

Gib Cooper, Coordinator
PNW Bamboo Agro-forestry Workshop
28446 Hunter Creek Loop
Gold Beach, OR  97444
Tel. or FAX 503/247-0835

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