Forest Operations Unit Hosts SALHI Workshop

Biomass chips: tub grinder output on left and chipper output on right. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

On Tuesday, March 26, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Operations Research unit in Auburn, Alabama, hosted attendees of the 2013 Sale Area Layout and Harvesting Institute (SALHI) for an introduction to harvesting and forest operations research.

While visiting the G.W. Andrews Forestry Sciences Lab, SALHI attendees heard presentations from  Dana Mitchell, acting project leader of the forest operations unit, that ranged from an introduction to Forest Service research and development and how research can support the National Forests in biomass harvesting operations and determining feedstock characteristics. SRS research soil scientist Emily Carter presented research findings on soil sustainability in forest operations, and Kris Connor, project leader of the SRS Restoring Longleaf Pines unit, gave an introduction to restoring and managing longleaf pine ecosystems. 

“Hopefully the outcome of this exchange was not only to share research findings, but to begin building working relationships that could help address some of the issues that the attendees face on their national forests,” said Mitchell. 

Thirty National Forest employees representing all regions of the Forest Service attended SALHI this year. The purpose of SALHI is to provide information and training on timber sale layout, roads, best management practices (BMPs), and harvesting systems (both ground and cable-based). The first 3-week session of training was conducted in the South (Alabama and North Carolina); the second will take place in Montana in May. 

As part of the first session, attendees also spent 6 days at the Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory in Otto, North Carolina, where they received training in cable and helicopter logging.

For more information, email Dana Mitchell at

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