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Forest fuel reduction: Current methods and future possibilitiesAuthor(s): Chad Bolding; Bobby Lanford; Loren Kellogg
Source: In: Proceedings of the 2003 COFE. 7-10 September 2003. Bar Harbor, ME: 5 p.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (96 KB)
DescriptionDue to recent catastrophic wildfires, forest fuel reduction has become one of the most discussed topics in forest engineering research. Considerable money and resources are being spent in an attempt to seek answers for tough questions. Lack of information, especially concerning mechanical fuel reduction methods, has stemmed several studies. This paper compiles the available methods - mechanical and non-mechanical approachesto reduce forest fuel levels. One major area lacking information concerned with mechanical fuel reduction is the few available cost and productivity estimates associated with harvesting small stems. Small stems, the target of fuel harvesting, prove economically difficult to extract from the forest due to their low value and high cost associated with their removal. Results from a recent study in Alabama examining a cut-to-length (CTL) operation combined with a small in-woods chipper showed that the low impact system can effectively reduce fuel loads and keep operations small and efficient. Also, the small in-woods chipper was able to process resultant biomass from the operation into a merchantable product (energy chips). In areas where markets are available, the energywood can be used as an alternative energy source. These results are not only applicable in Alabama, but also have implications in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), where forest fire hazards are greater. Through a review and compilation of recent studies on CTL and cable yarding alternatives in the PNW, these implications are explored for a range of factors.
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CitationBolding, Chad; Lanford, Bobby; Kellogg, Loren. 2003. Forest fuel reduction: Current methods and future possibilities. In: Proceedings of the 2003 COFE. 7-10 September 2003. Bar Harbor, ME: 5 p.
- Forest fuel reduction through energy wood production using a small chipper/CTL harvesting system
- Wildfire fuel harvesting and resultant biomass utilization using a cut-to-length/small chipper system
- Early-seral stand age and forest structural changes in public and private forestlands in Western Oregon and Washington
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