Forest operations across Canada are encountering increasingly difficult road conditions and more frequent access interruptions related to wet and weak road sections. Resource roads are considered a liability by many forest companies and their business model has been to create the lowest cost, lowest standard, resource road network possible that also will provide tolerable levels of access (i.e., some but not too many failures and hauling disruptions). Increasingly difficult operating conditions and frequent access interruptions, however, drive up costs and threaten the economic sustainability of forest operations.
Starting in 2017, FPInnovations has launched a project to provide its members with techniques and strategies that will offer more reliable and strong road sections and reduce overall road costs. A state-of-practice survey of FPInnovations members provided researchers with a comprehensive understanding of conventional means of responding to wet, weak road conditions in Canada. The report summarizes the responses to wet, weak resource road sections that were identified in the state-of-practice survey and provides an overview of the chief causes and related site indicators for wet, weak road conditions.
Recommended best practices are provided for a variety of conventional industry responses to wet, weak road sections. These address common misconceptions and knowledge gaps that reduce the effectiveness and increase the overall cost associated with the industry responses. These best practice recommendations were based upon findings from a literature review, product manufacturer information, and from researcher expertise.
The report also considers improvements to conventional practices, and advanced solutions that are potentially more effective and economic than the state-of-practice but are not widely exploited by industry. Eleven potential solutions from these two categories were compared and ranked in order of potential. The practice improvements selected for further study were soil compaction, and corduroy and access mats. The advanced solutions selected for further study were geosynthetics that offer both soil reinforcement and enhanced drainage, geocells, and TPCS, a technology to improve truck road-friendliness. Starting in 2021, FPInnovations will initiate field trials and life cycle cost analyses of these technologies.
Forest fuel treatments are applied across a broad range of ecosites in Alberta and Canada, with an overarching goal of managing hazardous fuel buildup to mitigate wildfire. These treatments use various manual and mechanical processes to achieve fuel treatment objectives. Planning and application of a specific forest fuel treatment technique is often shaped by several factors, including objectives of the fuel treatment, availability of resources (personnel and equipment), and commitment to using local resources (socio-economics). In addition, site conditions in certain ecosites will favour the application of some treatment techniques over others.
With the broad nature of numerous fuel treatment techniques applied over a wide range of environmental conditions, it is difficult to document all treatments and develop comparative productivity and cost evaluations. This summary of fuel treatment studies accesses current research to present relevant findings and identify knowledge gaps in research on stand-level fuel treatment productivity.
Through the Forestry 4.0 program, FPInnovations is investigating and testing telecommunication technologies for the forestry industry, this includes the application of TV White Space (TVWS) technology. TVWS radios operate in the frequency spectrum between 450 to 698 MHz and the majority of this spectrum is unlicensed and not acquired through federal government auctions. A short-term field trial was conducted in Central Québec forest operations in December 2020.
Cost-effective connectivity will bridge the gap between the forest and the rest of the supply chain. Operational efficiency, flexibility and worker safety will be improved by enabling instant communication with currently isolated logging operations. This report summarizes the findings and results obtained in this first operational trial aimed at quantifying the scope of mobile connectivity through this new technology.
Par l’initiative Foresterie 4.0, FPInnovations trouve et met à l’essai des technologies de télécommunication pour l’industrie forestière tel que la technologie TV White Space (TVWS). Les radios TVWS opèrent dans le spectre de fréquence de 450 à 698 MHz et la majorité de ce spectre est non-licencié et pas acquis par l’entremise des enchères du gouvernement fédéral. Un essai sur le terrain à court terme a été réalisé dans une exploitation forestière du centre du Québec en décembre 2020.
Une connectivité rentable comblera la division entre la forêt et le reste de la chaîne d'approvisionnement. L'efficacité opérationnelle, la flexibilité et la sécurité des travailleurs seront améliorées en permettant une communication instantanée avec les opérations d'exploitation forestière actuellement isolées. Ce rapport résume les constats et résultats obtenus lors de ce premier essai opérationnel visant à quantifier la portée d’une connectivité mobile grâce à cette nouvelle technologie.
Modified oxygen consumption calorimetry was used to track the seasonal flammability of black spruce and tamarack. Age class related samples were collected for both species from May to September at research site in central Alberta. These samples were assessed for their differential heat release using test equipment at the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta.
The test method was able to successfully quantify the differences in seasonal flammability between black spruce and tamarack. Data showed the age-related flammability differences were less pronounced, with the exception of new growth samples early in the season.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch recently contracted two Sikorsky S-61N heavy helicopters. Both helicopters are equipped with an external tank (max. volume 1000 U.S. gallons) and have on-board injection systems that are capable of mixing class A foams and water-enhancers.
Currently, there is limited data on comparative drop footprints of foam and water-enhancers (suppressants) for these heavy helicopters. To fill this knowledge gap, AAF has asked FPInnovations to conduct drop tests in different wildland fuel environments. This study focuses on mapping the drop footprints of water, foam, and water-enhancers in black spruce stands at specific flight parameters.
Reduced surface evaporation rates are marketed as a competitive advantage by water-enhancer manufacturers. In this report, a new test method is developed and applied to quantify the evaporation rates of various commercially available water-enhancer products in a controlled environment. These quantified evaporation rates were then compared to the evaporation rate of water which served as the benchmark.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch has recently contracted two Sikorsky S-61N heavy helicopters. Both helicopters are equipped with an external tank (max. volume 1000 U.S. gallons) and have on-board injection systems that are capable of mixing class A foams and water-enhancers.
Currently, there is limited data on comparative drop footprints of foam and water-enhancers (suppressants) for these heavy helicopters. To fill this knowledge gap, AAF has asked FPInnovations to conduct drop tests in different wildland fuel environments. This study focuses on mapping the drop footprints of water, foam, and water-enhancers in an open field at specific flight parameters.
In 2020, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch contracted two externally tanked heavy helicopters with on-board injection and mixing systems. The two heavy helicopters are Sikorsky S-61N helicopters with modified Isolair tanks, capable of dropping water, foam, and water-enhancers. Drop tests were conducted using these helicopters to understand the relative footprints of different suppressants.
This study focuses on using drop footprint data to estimate recovery rates of water, foam, and water-enhancers in two scenarios – an open field and a forested stand. These estimates may provide a primarily understanding of how best different suppressants can be used for different applications.
Les forêts aff ectées par des épidémies d’insectes, en l’occurrence par la TBE, présentent une structure de peuplement hétérogène. Cela s’explique, entre autres, par le niveau de défoliation qui n’est pas nécessairement le même d’un arbre à l’autre. La récolte de ces peuplements engendre des coûts supplémentaires. Ceux-ci sont occasionnés par une perte de productivité des machines associée au temps supplémentaire requis pour produire un panier de produits répondant aux spécifi cations des usines. Par ailleurs, les récents développements en télédétection ont montré un grand potentiel pour réaliser des cartes précises et détaillées pouvant améliorer le processus de planifi cation et le déploiement d’opérations forestières. C’est dans ce contexte que des études ont été menées depuis 2014 sur la Côte-Nord. Elles ont permis de mesurer les pertes de productivité des machines et de développer une cartographie plus fi ne permettant de guider les opérateurs vers les endroits où la valeur des tiges assure la viabilité des opérations.
A biomass heat map is a tool to help visualize the cost of biomass that is residual from harvest operations. The heat map is important because it can inform decision-making and economic feasibility studies. Its visual impact can trigger new thoughts and innovations in the human mind that a table of numbers can not... like: Where might we build a new plant? Should we compete at an existing delivery point, or not?
The services offered related to forest operations are outlined in this general brochure. Information on workshops, professional services, virtual library, online tools and opportunities for assessment and support are detailed.
Les services offerts liés aux opérations forestières sont décrit dans cette brochure. Les informations sur les ateliers, les services professionnels, la bibliothèque virtuelle, les outils en ligne et les possibilitées d'interventions sont détaillées.
FPInnovations’ Wildfire Operations Advisory group has asked its researchers to explore a method by which the performance of water-enhancing products can be repeatedly assessed in the laboratory. A new test method, known as the crib test, was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of water-enhancing products on burning woody fuel to simulate direct-attack aerial operations.
This report outlines the methodology for the crib test and describes the findings from performance evaluation tests conducted at the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta.
The USDA Forest Service’s Qualified Product List (QPL) provides guidance on the range of permissible mix ratios for water-enhancer products. Due to the proprietary nature of water-enhancer products, there are several unknowns about the rheology of the permissible mix ratios.
This study focused on mapping the viscosity of various suppressant products as a function of their mix ratios. The results revealed a wide range of viscosities across products, with each product showing a different non-linear relationship with different mix ratios.
The results from this study can help understand the optimum viscosity range to achieve desired drop characteristics during aerial operations.
The aim of this study was to capture data on area-based water delivery systems, specifically in the context of logistics, systems differentiation, water delivery, and its localized effects. FPInnovations successfully collaborated with Fire & Flood to obtain this data. A two-day test was executed during which Fire & Flood set up their 4- and 12-inch systems and carried out sprinkler operations.
This review explores the benefits, challenges, limitations, logistics, and cost-effectiveness of different management options to convert conifer-dominated stands to aspen-dominated stands. These alternatives can include overstory removal (harvesting, bulldozing, shear blading, prescribed burning) and site preparation (root trenching, drag scarification, broadcast burning) treatments. On sites where parent aspen trees are not present in the original stand, tree planting will be necessary albeit costly in comparison to regeneration by suckering. While extensive literature exists on the regeneration of trembling aspen through suckering, research on artificial establishment with seedlings and its requirements is still in its infancy and rapidly developing.
Hosted by Edouard Proust, this webinar presentation by David Bevly held on February 10, 2021 highlights an important component of FPInnovations' Transportation and Infrastructure group's work. The concept of truck platooning, inspired by pelotons of cyclists and originally developed for highway use to obtain fuel savings, utilizes technology to maintain the desired distance between trucks by controlling acceleration and braking, and the relative lateral position of the vehicles by steering, reacting faster than a driver can. Truck platooning has attracted the attention of the natural resources sector and its implementation is expected to increase the productivity of drivers. By allowing the operation of driverless following trucks replicating the path set by the human operated leader vehicle, the concept could help mitigate the workforce shortage that impact the sector while supporting the supply of lumber to mills across the country.
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Cette présentation de David Bevly a été organisée le 10 février 2021 par Edouard Proust. Elle met en lumière une composante importante du travail effectué par le groupe Transports et Infrastructures de FPInnovations. Le concept d’opération de camions en peloton est inspiré des pelotons de cyclistes et a été mis au point à l’origine pour des applications autoroutières avec pour objectif une réduction de la consommation de carburant. Les camions sont équipés d’une technologie permettant le contrôle de l’accélération, du freinage et de la direction offrant la possibilité de maintenir la distance de suivi entre les véhicules ainsi que leur positionnement latéral relatif. En autorisant la mise en œuvre de camions suiveurs entièrement autonomes et qui répliquent le tracé du camion de tête opéré par un chauffeur, le concept pourrait à terme aider à minimiser l’impact du manque de chauffeurs dans l’industrie tout en supportant l’approvisionnement en fibre des scieries à travers le Canada.
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The clean air initiative led by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment seeks to develop innovative methods to improve community air quality by utilizing harvest residues and minimizing the volume of fibre burned at roadside. Retaining processed tops as roadside oriented piles is proposed as an alternative to burning debris.
These burn trials have demonstrated that in this unique arrangement of fuels and interaction of site-specific variables, particular areas of the piles will be more vulnerable to ignition sources which can lead to sustained burning and high intensity fire behaviour. In addition to the low fuel moisture conditions, other fuel properties, such as the close proximity of piles, high volume of fine fuels (branches and needles) and orientation of piles to road all contributed to enhanced burning at this site.
This report presents the importance of best management practices for mitigating erosion from resource roads and preventing sediment from entering a watercourse. Key to achieving these goals is the understanding of erosion from the road surface and the level of connectivity from the delivery point of the sediment-laden water onto the forest floor and the watercourse. This report provides a list of best management practices that is specific to resource roads.