FERIC studied three harvesting systems in clearcut operations to define their specific productivities and costs under the harvesting conditions typical of mixedwood forest; the systems comprised mechanized full-tree and cut-to-length systems, as well as manual system. FERIC compared their productivities with those typically observed in softwood stands and found that all three systems had lower productivities in mixedwood forest than in softwood forest at comparable stem volumes. The total harvesting cost, including the cost of loading, was higher than in softwood forest, and the manual system showed the greatest cost increase. Felling, delimbing, processing, and loading costs all increased for comparable volumes per stem and numbers of stems per hectare; however, since the average volume per stem is often greater in mixedwood forest than in softwood forest, the actual overall harvesting costs become comparable.
A system which integrates architectural and structural design issues for timber connections will be developed for a limited number of connections and loading conditions which are dealt with in various national and international codes and standards. The scope of engineering issues relevant to connections will be expanded to include a wide range of timber connections and engineering solutions which are not covered by code procedures. This will include cases such as 3-dimensional loading configurations, dynamic analysis of connections and more rigorous analysis procedures. Progress on these objectives is described.
Geosynthetic reinforcement was evaluated in a road that crossed a muskeg bog. Three options were tested: geogrid, reinforced non-woven geotextile, and corduroy (delimed trees laid side by side). After 1 year, the three road segments provided similar performance. Geosynthetics were less expensive than corduroy if the stems used in the latter approach could have generated a net profit of greater than $/m3. Geosynnthetics are easy to install, require no additional equipment during the installation, and avoid fiber loss.
In order to provide bridge designers with better information, International Forest Products Limited (Interfor) asked the Forest Engineering Resarach Institute of Canada (FERIC) to evaluate the bending strength and stiffness of log stringers used for constructing bridges on forest roads in coastal British Columbia. Given the lack of definitive standards for testing this material, FERIC developed a field-based test procedure and designed a test facility for destructive testing of full-size, whole-log stringers obtained from second-growth stands. Sixteen coastal Douglas-fir and twelve western hemlock logs were tested in 2003. This report describes the test procedure and methods of analysis, presents the log bending strength and stiffness results, and makes recommendations regarding future testing.
Pacific Forest Products Limited began commercially thinning Douglas-fir dominated second-growth forest on southeastern Vancouver Island with mechanized shortwood systems in 1992. In the summer of 1994, FERIC monitored a thinning operation near Cowichan Lake to determine productivities, costs and impacts to sites and residual stands. The thinning treatment was carried out with a Timberjack 1270 harvester and a Timberjack 910 forwarder.
This report provides detailed estimates of current delivered roundwood costs for lumber and pulp, as well as the costs of forest biomass harvested in a system integrated with the roundwood harvest. Three different harvesting systems were studied: full-tree to roadside, integrated cut-to-length and full-tree chipping, and cut-to-length. Two typical site types were used: a boreal softwood site and an Acadian mixedwood site. Results are presented in $/m3 and in $/gmt (green metric tonne) for both roundwood and forest biomass. The effects of haul distance, biomass moisture content and the utilization rate of the biomass production machines on total cost are analyzed. Other factors that affect the viability of forest biomass as an economic source of energy are discussed.
FERIC conducted two trials in northern Alberta to evaluate alternative methods of constructing temporary forest access roads in areas where gravel is scarce and fine-grained soils predominate. The trials compared the performance of V-ditch, 0.5-m Lift, and o.5-m Lift-over-rootmat designs constructed with and without compaction. The report summarizes the key findings from the study for use as a road building reference.
The Mountain Alternative Silvicultural Systems (MASS) study is a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency project initiated both for silvicultural and social reasons. MacMillan Bloedel Limited, the Canadian Forest Service, and FERIC cooperated in the study, with participation by the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. Three alternative treatments representing a range of canopy removal levels - uniform shelterwood, green tree retention, and patch cutting - were implemented in the research area, located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. FERIC monitored the productivity and cost of the falling and forwarding operations, and measured site disturbance and coarse woody debris for each harvesting treatment. The results of FERIC's study are presented.