Access development in stands affected by Mountain Pine Beetle requires more efficient and timely road construction methods. Forest managers must build their roads to a standard that permits immediate use by harvesting crews and equipment. They have very little time to allow roads to 'set up' before harvesting and log hauling commence. Managers also need flexibility in scheduling road building and harvesting activities to control costs. In the B.C. Interior, the conventional road building process is comprised of several phases including pilot trail construction, right-of-way felling, right-of-way skidding, log processing, log loading and hauling, and final subgrade construction. There are many variations of the road building process but typically the roads are built in stages, and the equipment used for each phase must continually switch positions along the right-of-way. Conflicts between right-of-way logging activity and final subgrade construction cause inefficiencies and poor equipment utilization. As a result of these issues, many forest companies in the B.C. Interior have identified road construction research as a key priority and would like to explore alternative construction strategies. One example is to use a push-falling technique to speed up construction time and reduce congestion between road building phases. In this method, an excavator push-falls the timber over the full width of the right-of-way. The timber is then handled in a way that permits road construction to a finished standard earlier in the process. Right-of-way timber is skidded and hauled on a finished road rather than a pilot trail. Skidding on a finished road also helps to compact the subgrade. The push-falling technique may be well suited to pine stands because root wads are smaller making push-felled pine stems are more amenable to skidding compared to other species. Currently, there is no information available on the productivity and costs of such alternatives. The purpose of this project is to provide answers for the following applied research questions. These are key questions faced by forest managers and road builders when accessing stands affected by mountain pine beetle: " What is the most efficient equipment complement for building the road? " How should the equipment be organized and scheduled to produce the most cost-effective operation? " What types of equipment should be assigned to the various road construction phases? Contract Report CR-3411-1
Matthewson, Chris. 2007. Evaluating forest road construction techniques to improve access to stands affected by Mountain Pine Beetle. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Dendroctonus, Ponderosae, British, Columbia
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