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Economic and Environmental Optimization of the Forest Supply Chain for Timber and Bioenergy Production from Beetle-Killed Forests in Northern Colorado

1, 1,* and 2
1
Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2
Division of Forest Industry, National Institute of Forest Science, Seoul 02455, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080689
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Optimization for Biomass and Biofuels)
PDF [1504 KB, uploaded 14 August 2019]

Abstract

Harvesting mountain pine beetle-infested forest stands in the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains provides an opportunity to utilize otherwise wasted resources, generate net revenues, and minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Timber and bioenergy production are commonly managed separately, and their integration is seldom considered. Yet, degraded wood and logging residues can provide a feedstock for bioenergy, while the sound wood from beetle-killed stands can still be used for traditional timber products. In addition, beneficial greenhouse gas emission (GHG) savings are often realized only by compromising net revenues during salvage harvest where beetle-killed wood has a relatively low market value and high harvesting cost. In this study we compared Sequential and Integrated decision-making scenarios for managing the supply chain from beetle-killed forest salvage operations. In the Sequential scenario, timber and bioenergy production was managed sequentially in two separate processes, where salvage harvest was conducted without considering influences on or from bioenergy production. Biomass availability was assessed next as an outcome from timber production managed to produce bioenergy products. In the Integrated scenario, timber and bioenergy production were managed jointly, where collective decisions were made regarding tree salvage harvest, residue treatment, and bioenergy product selection and production. We applied a multi-objective optimization approach to integrate the economic and environmental objectives of producing timber and bioenergy, and measured results by total net revenues and total net GHG emission savings, respectively. The optimization model results show that distinctively different decisions are made in selecting the harvesting system and residue treatment under the two scenarios. When the optimization is fully economic-oriented, 49.6% more forest areas are harvested under the Integrated scenario than the Sequential scenario, generating 12.3% more net revenues and 50.5% more net GHG emission savings. Comparison of modelled Pareto fronts also indicate the Integrated decision scenario provides more efficient trade-offs between the two objectives and performs better than the Sequential scenario in both objectives.
Keywords: multi-objective optimization; beetle-killed biomass; forest products; supply chain; production scenario comparison; bioenergy; salvage logging multi-objective optimization; beetle-killed biomass; forest products; supply chain; production scenario comparison; bioenergy; salvage logging
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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She, J.; Chung, W.; Han, H. Economic and Environmental Optimization of the Forest Supply Chain for Timber and Bioenergy Production from Beetle-Killed Forests in Northern Colorado. Forests 2019, 10, 689.

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