Forest Operations Research (SRS RWU 4703)

trailer filled with wood chips skidder and feller-buncher working feller-buncher cutting in the dark researcher conducting time-in-motion study researcher measuring trees researcher preparing a lab sample forwarder loading pinyon and juniper researcher and machine operator talking air cannon used to test machine glazing researcher collecting a soil sample
BIOENERGY: Cooperative research with university and industry partners
EFFICIENCY: Evaluating the efficiency of multi-shift forest operations
EFFICIENCY: Time-in-motion study of forest operations
EFFICIENCY: Determination of production rates through forest inventory and allometry
MATERIAL QUALITY: Laboratory analysis of forest-derived feedstocks
RESTORATION: Investigating technological solutions to management problems
SAFETY: Testing the protective glazing of forestry machines against thrown objects
SUSTAINABILITY: Researching the effects of forest operations on soils

Welcome to the Southern Research Station's Forest Operations Work Unit website. The Unit conducts basic and applied research and transfers these results to the public through scientific publications, technical consultations, demonstrations, and public presentations. Our stakeholders include forest industry, the National Forest System, other government agencies, private landowners, contractors, equipment manufacturers, and university researchers. Many of the Unit's studies are conducted in cooperation with universities, forest industry, and independent producers.

Introduction to Forest Operations

Forest operations are the critical connection between the forest management plan and the realization of desired future conditions. Forest operations are the physical actions which change the forest, altering structure, composition, condition, or value in order to meet society’s needs for clean air and water, forest products, wildlife, recreation, and other benefits. On every type of forest ownership, the forest operation is the tool selected by the land manager to shape the future and provide value and benefits in the present. Forest operations are the source of both the benefits of management and the negative impacts. Forest operations generate value for society through improved forest conditions and product outputs. They also impact ecological processes and leave an imprint on the landscape.

The basic challenge facing resource managers is matching the requirements of the management plan to the capabilities of the forest operation. Modern resource management involves the consideration of a wide variety of factors and often seeks to optimize the attainment of multiple objectives. Protecting water quality while enhancing carbon sequestration and producing economically-competitive forest products might serve as an example. There is not adequate information available for resource managers to make rational selections of forest operations in new prescriptions. In some cases, technology has not yet been developed to meet the functional requirements of management prescriptions within economic and social constraints. In other cases, even basic scientific knowledge about the interactions among modern forest operations systems and ecological processes is inadequate to define technology and development needs.

Forest Operations Research (RWU - 4703)

USDA Forest Service
Forest Operations
521 Devall Dr.
Auburn, AL 36849

(334) 826-8700