The forest industry in British Columbia must efficiently harvest mountain pine beetle-killed-killed stands if it is to provide the products the mills require at acceptable delivered wood costs. As the current harvesting systems and techniques have evolved through many years of harvesting green stems, shifting harvesting to large areas of dying and dead trees may require changes to ensure the maximum amount of fibre is utilized, logs produced meet mill specifications, and harvest costs do not increase. This shift in harvesting may also provide opportunities for modifications to existing equipment and attachments, and possibly the development of new equipment to meet the new challenges. To provide information that will identify the opportunity for new techniques, systems and equipment, the forest industry must first understand the production activities as they currently relate to harvesting mountain pine beetle-killed stands and compare it to harvesting green stands. This requires a basic knowledge of the cycle elements for all harvesting phases, an understanding of the operating factors that influence the cycle elements, and a solid awareness of current operating systems, techniques and equipment. It also requires knowledge of the fibre utilization as it relates to mill specifications. When the information on cycle elements and fibre recovery are collected for harvesting both green and mountain pine beetle-killed stands, it can be compared to determine where differences occur. Once differences are determined, the system can be examined to determine where changes could occur that would improve efficiencies. The questions to answer are: 1. How can we adapt the current harvesting systems and techniques to more efficiently recover post mountain pine beetle-killed stands? 2. What changes to the current equipment and attachments can improve operating efficiency and equipment utilization? 3. How will equipment productivity performance be affected when harvesting mountain pine beetle-killed stands? 4. What other operational factors influence harvesting operations as mountain pine beetle-killed stands are harvested? The data collected during this study will be compared to recent and current research FERIC is undertaking for its members benchmarking the productivity of harvesting operation phases throughout western Canada. FERIC has developed a protocol for determining equipment productivity and relates it to the tree or piece size produced, terrain factors and operator experience. The data is posted on FERIC?s Western Division website and is also incorporated into our INTERFACE software tool that estimates delivered fibre costs for various harvesting systems. Modeling operational scenarios using INTERFACE allows researchers to examine existing and potential systems to compare their productivity and results.
Dyson, Peter F., McMorland, Bruce. 2008. Developing New Techniques, Systems and Equipment for Harvesting Post Mountain Pine Beetle Stands. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2008MR210
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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