FERIC assessed a cable skidder with a dual-drum winch and radio remote control in hardwood partial-cutting operations. Productivity increased by up to 32% depending on the technology used, and ground disturbance decreased by up to 40%. Trail occupancy and damage to residual trees also decreased (by up to 53% and 79%, respectively). Operators entered the machine significantly fewer times, thereby improving safety. Remote controls are cost-effective for any machine, but dual-drum winches are probably too costly to install on older machines.
The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC) carried out a short-term study of the Bräcke Planter mounted on an excavator. The study took place near Kamloops, B.C. on a small cutblock with slopes ranging from 0 to 35%. This report describes the planter, and its productivity and suitability for use in western Canada.
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.
The trend in harvesting systems has been towards increasing mechanization. In 1995, FERIC with funding from Canada's Model Forest Program, monitored harvesting on two operations - a conventional system (hand faller/hand delimber/line skidder) and a mechanical system (feller-buncher/grapple skidder/stroke delimber) - to document the costs and productivities, employment levels, fuel consumption, and site disturbance.
FERIC undertook a comparison of five site-preparation methods (scalping with a bulldozer, scalping with an excavator, windrowing, mulching of the full site, and strip mulching) in central Ontario. The study was designed to measure equipment productivity, assess the results in terms of microsite quality, and calculate the costs of the various operations. The results suggested that each treatment within the study conditions should be facilitated by biological follow-ups that will be carried out by the Ontario Forest Research Institute over the next few years.