1994 Pacific NW Bamboo Agroforestry Workshop
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Promoting the Beauty and Utility of Bamboo
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:

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 follows:

  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 dissemination.
    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 applications
    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. 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 project.


  6. 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 Proceedings

Bamboo in the Pacific Northwest is the result of Gib Cooper’s editing seven manuscripts and the work session. The book (and workshop) is the first in a series of attempts to organize and quantify the business of bamboo production, product development and marketing. The ninety pages discuss paper pulp development, bamboo history and ecology, bamboo on the farm, results of bamboo in permaculture plantings, timber bamboo pole production, and include an interesting article on developing a bamboo plantation in Vietnam. In addition to providing a summary of the workshop, the editor updates progress of the goals since 1994. Also included is a list of participating organizations and individuals.

Bamboo in the Pacific Northwest is now available. To have a copy shipped to you in the USA send a check made out to PNC-ABS for $18. Mail the check to PNW Bamboo Workshop, 28446 Hunter Creek Loop, Gold Beach, OR 97444. Copies of the book can also be purchased for $15 at meetings and events of the PNC-ABS.

For further information about bamboo agroforestry or for a copy of the proceedings, contact:

Gib Cooper, Coordinator
PNW Bamboo Agro-forestry Workshop
28446 Hunter Creek Loop
Gold Beach, OR 97444
Tel. or FAX 503/247-0835
Internet e-mail: gib@bamboodirect.com

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