Harvesting considerations for ecosystem restoration projects
There is a need to identify and develop cost effective harvesting systems for ecosystem restoration projects. In the Western United States, pinyon-juniper woodlands are expanding into sagebrush and rangeland ecosystems. In many areas, this growth negatively impacts water, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and other resources. In other areas, such as Texas and Oklahoma, expansion of eastern redcedar causes similar concerns for landowners. Treatment of these stems through harvesting has been constrained. It is expensive, and markets are limited. The number of stems per acre, transportation infrastructure, and physical stem characteristics are just a few of the variables that may contribute to the high cost of removal. This paper explores current stand conditions and prescribed treatments, then identifies harvesting technologies to meet ecosystem restoration objectives.