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Assessing the potential for log sort yards to improve financial viability of forest restoration treatments

Posted date: February 08, 2013
Publication Year: 
2012
Authors: Chung, Woodam; Venn, Tyron J.; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, Greg; Han, Han-Sup; Calkin, Dave E.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Forest Science. 58(6): 641-651.

Abstract

Forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments have been widely applied in the western United States with the purpose of reducing the size and intensity of wildfires. However, the low value of small-diameter trees produced from such treatments has partly constrained the ability to treat all the areas identified as being in need of treatments. The objective of this study was to analyze the potential for log sort yards to increase the residual value of forest restoration treatments relative to a standard sort at landing in Ravalli County, Montana. We simulated log handing and transportation under two log sorting scenarios in Ravalli County: sort at landing resulting in two log products and sort at sort yard resulting in seven potential log products. Costs and value recovery in each scenario were estimated, and the residual values were compared. We found that establishment of a log sort yard in Ravalli County could increase the residual value of forest restoration treatments by 5%. However, the benefit of the sort yard varies substantially by the forest type from which logs are harvested and the available volume of and markets for high value products, such as house logs.

Citation

Chung, Woodam; Venn, Tyron J.; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, Greg; Han, Han-Sup; Calkin, Dave E. 2012. Assessing the potential for log sort yards to improve financial viability of forest restoration treatments. Forest Science. 58(6): 641-651.