Special Issue "Forest Operations under Challenging Conditions: Operating, Environmental and Safety Constraints"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Operations and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 3541

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Cavalli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, Università degli Studi di Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
Interests: operations management; logistics; production planning; management; transportation; supply chain; vocational training
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrew McEwan
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Forestry and Wood Technology, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Interests: forest roads; logging systems; forestry biomass harvesting systems; forestry; timber; biomass; forest; road; natural resources; wood; sustainability; environmental management systems; pulp; carbon; sustainable development; forest products; natural resource management; mitigation; project planning; science; logging; timber transport; biofuels; environmental awareness; sustainable forest management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest operations often need to take place under specific demanding conditions, i.e., steep slopes, wet soils, rocky sites, biodiversity protection areas, touristic sites, etc. Operating under such conditions presents technology and management challenges. Harvesting machines and systems are subjected to harsher working conditions that affect machine reliability, resulting in mechanical breakdowns, and can also reduce machine productivity due to the need for slower operations when working e.g. on side slopes or down steep slopes. Human manoeuvrability can also increase the safety risk and ground-based workers can struggle to carry out manual work safely. Environmental damage can also be a consequence, as harvesting machines can disturb soil, reduce vegetation and organic matter, determine loss of wildlife and biodiversity and of aesthetic and cultural values. Therefore, the correct technology must be applied according to the specific site situation, and it needs to be operated according to good practice. This requires good planning as well as well trained and motivated employees. New technology can allow for forest operations to be cost effectively carried out under challenging conditions while also minimising environmental impacts and reducing safety risks.

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Cavalli
Dr. Andrew McEwan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • steep slopes
  • difficult terrain
  • environmental impact
  • safety risks
  • forest operations
  • productivity

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
The Impact of Weather and Slope Conditions on the Productivity, Cost, and GHG Emissions of a Ground-Based Harvesting Operation in Mountain Hardwoods
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121612 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 486
Abstract
Mountainous hardwood mixed stands offer challenges to timber harvesting operations in practice, including a harsh climate, variable topography, steep terrain, and large-sized timbers. This paper aims to develop productivity and cost models for a mountain-ground-based harvesting operation across the terrain (e.g., slope conditions), [...] Read more.
Mountainous hardwood mixed stands offer challenges to timber harvesting operations in practice, including a harsh climate, variable topography, steep terrain, and large-sized timbers. This paper aims to develop productivity and cost models for a mountain-ground-based harvesting operation across the terrain (e.g., slope conditions), stand (e.g., tree volume) environmental (e.g., weather), and yard (e.g., winching distance) variables and to assess GHG emissions related to the equipment in use. This development was implemented in a timber harvesting practice under single-tree selection in mountainous forests of Iran where a motor-manual chainsaw is used for felling and a rubber-tired cable skidder is used for log extraction. The average delay-free productivity was 4.55 m3 for felling and 14.73 m3 h−1 for skidding. Lower production costs and higher productivity rates were observed over the gentle slopes and in sunny conditions. The average production costs ranged between USD 4.27 m−3 for felling and USD 5.35 m−3 for skidding. The average emissions ranged between 0.96 kg m−3 for felling and 7.06 kg m−3 for skidding in snowy conditions over steep slopes. The study’s results confirm avoiding harvesting operations on steep slopes (greater than 35%) and in extreme weather conditions to obtain higher work efficiency and to minimize adverse effects of machinery on forest ecosystems. The results should be of use to harvest managers and forest planners considering the application of ground-based harvesting operations using a semi-mechanized system on a range of operating conditions in mountain hardwood stands. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Harvest Operability Index (HOI): A Decision Support Tool for Mechanized Timber Harvesting in Mountainous Terrain
Forests 2021, 12(10), 1307; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101307 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
Forest operations have become increasingly reliant on mechanized harvesting equipment due to their increased production capacities in competitive markets. However, operating heavy machinery in mountainous terrain poses numerous operational and accessibility challenges from steep slopes, erosion risk, and poor road access. Geographic Information [...] Read more.
Forest operations have become increasingly reliant on mechanized harvesting equipment due to their increased production capacities in competitive markets. However, operating heavy machinery in mountainous terrain poses numerous operational and accessibility challenges from steep slopes, erosion risk, and poor road access. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have effectively been used in various studies to identify areas in mountainous landscapes that pose no or reduced constraints for harvesting equipment operation. This study introduces the Harvest Operability Index (HOI), which rates a landscape for wheel-based equipment suitability (i.e., operability) and assesses its application in 13,118 ha of the Jocassee Gorges Natural Resource Area, situated on the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment in Northwestern South Carolina, USA. The HOI incorporated slope, distance from roads, cost distance from major highways, primary Streamside Management Zones (SMZ), stand age, and soil suitability ratings for harvesting equipment operation. Upon reclassification to a 5-tier suitability scale, the HOI revealed 60% (7824 ha) of the case study area was in a Slope Exclusion Zone, or land area inoperable for wheel-based equipment due to steep slopes. Values of Very Poor and Poor Operability occupied less than 1% (213 ha) of land area whereas Moderate Operability values were 9% of the land area (1257 ha). Values of Good Operability occupied 18% (2442 ha) of the study area and values of Very Good Operability occupied 10% (1381 ha). These results reflected the challenges of mechanized harvesting in the study area due to a preponderance of steep slopes and poorly suited soil. Our model delineated areas of high equipment operability in two locations in the study area, despite a lack of recent logging activity around them. Results of the HOI analysis offer an accessible way for forest managers to better prioritize logging operations in areas that are highly operable and therefore more likely to possess lower overall harvesting costs, for wheel-based harvesting systems. The HOI can also be used as an asset for other forest management priorities, such as identifying highly operable areas that can use timber harvesting for fuel reduction and ecological restoration in fire-dependent forests. This model can be applied to various other regions where mountainous terrain poses a limitation to wheel-based harvesting equipment operation- and where wheel-based equipment is essential to advance the pace and scale of harvesting for ecological restoration. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cable Tensile Forces Associated to Winch Design in Tethered Harvesting Operations: A Case Study from the Pacific North West
Forests 2021, 12(7), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070827 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 840
Abstract
Cable tensile forces in winch-assist harvesting have been investigated in order to assess the safety concerns of the technology. However, the literature is lacking, particularly in regards to the impact of winch design. In this study, a Summit Winch Assist tethering a feller-director [...] Read more.
Cable tensile forces in winch-assist harvesting have been investigated in order to assess the safety concerns of the technology. However, the literature is lacking, particularly in regards to the impact of winch design. In this study, a Summit Winch Assist tethering a feller-director on ground slopes up to 77% was monitored for four days. The cable tensile forces were simultaneously recorded at the harvesting and anchor machine at a frequency of 100 Hz. Cameras and GNSS devices enabled a time study of the operations and the recording of machine positions. Winch functionality and design were disclosed by the manufacturer and used for the interpretation of the results. The cable tensile forces reached 296 kN at the harvesting machine and 260 kN at the anchor machine. The slow negotiation of obstacles while moving downhill recorded the highest peaks, mainly due to threshold settings of the winch in the brake system activation. Lower but significant peaks were also recorded during stationary work tasks. The peaks, however, were limited to a few events and never exceeded the endurance limit of the cable. Overall, the study confirmed recent findings in cable tensile force analysis of active winch-assist operations and provided evidence of the underlaying mechanisms that contribute to cable tensile forces. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop