Wetland harvesting systems -- developing alternatives for sustainable operation
Wetland forests represent some of the most productive forest lands in the Southeast. They are also an environmentally sensitive ecotype which presents unique problems for forest operations. Sustaining active management in these areas will require systems which can operate on weak soil conditions without adversely affecting soil properties or stand regeneration. The systems must also operate economically. This paper reviews current investigations of alternative systems including large-capacity forwarders, clambunk skidders, and the skidder/shovel logger system in the southeastern U.S. The systems are compared in terms of production, cost, and potential site impacts.