Projects to Improve The Bamboo Industry


At the 1994 Pacific Northwest Bamboo Agro-forestry Workshop a lively
brainstorming session was facilitated by Daryl Ehrensing, Senior Research
Assistant, of Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. The group
developed a list of goals for improving the the bamboo industry in the
Pacific Northwest

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 disposition 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. Hybrid poplars have also been growing
under these experimental conditions.

2.  Riparian improvement

Many streams and rivers in the Pacific Northwest are 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

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.

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 project.

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 specialty areas.

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.

Producers of bamboo poles, shoots and fiber need marketing coops to amass
commercial quantities for manufacturers and distributors.


Gib Cooper, Coordinator PNW Bamboo Agro-Forestry Workshop
28446 Hunter Creek Loop
Gold Beach, OR  97444
Tel. or FAX 541/247-0835                e-mail:  bambugib@harborside.com