FAO Guide to Forest Road Engineering in Mountainous Terrain
The FAO Guide to Forest Road Engineering in
Mountainous Terrain was produced in draft form this month. A strategic
plan, or forest management plan, guides both the development and the
implementation of forestry practices on the ground. The objective is
simple, namely to provide for practices that are safe, productive and
environmentally sound. Yet its formulation is challenging. Expectations of
forest resources management have evolved tremendously in recent years. The
result is a demand for greater consultation and a more integrated approach
to planning that includes cultural, ecological, economic and social
factors. This FAO guide has been prepared in response to that demand. Its
primary objective is to describe recommended practices for forest road
engineering in mountainous terrain with emphasis on how management
objectives for the area under the strategic plan are to be met by the
proposed road locations. The information in this guide to forest road
engineering on mountainous terrain has been compiled with the basic intent
of disseminating practices that address concerns for timber production,
forage production and grazing, recreation and tourism, water, fisheries,
wildlife, biodiversity and cultural heritage. As such, the guide will be
of use to foresters, biologists, ecologists, engineers, logging
specialists and social scientists. It will allow policy-makers to develop
or refine national, regional and local codes of practice with reference to
a coherent framework for decision analysis.
Selected Aspects of Forest Harvesting in the Tropics
Some of the salient issues discussed dealing with forest harvesting problems include:
For more information contact Joachim Lorbach, FAO, Rome, e-mail: Joachim.Lorbach@fao.org.
The International Conference on the Application of Reduced Impact Logging to Advance Sustainable Forest Management
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 26 February – 1 March 2001
The more than 250 participants represented a wide variety of organizations, institutions and companies from the non-governmental, public and private sectors. The final conference proceedings are expected to be published by the end of this year. Contact Patrick Durst, RAP, for copies: Patrick.Durst@fao.org
Items on the agenda included key technologies, improvement of forest harvesting, economics of reduced impact logging, safety and health, training, research, monitoring, practical experiences and policy instruments. Post-conference tour participants received an insight into helicopter or peat-swamp logging techniques.
The following summaries were extracted from a few of the papers presented.
Reduced Impact Logging: Dennis Dykstra
RIL is the application of technologies that are wellknown and common practice in many industrialised countries. RIL is something new to tropical forests and a new mind set is required. Often logging is considered to be a subject that should not be discussed in polite society. The consequences of this are:
Foresters often come to believe that environmentally sound harvesting is impossible at a level of cost that will permit an economically viable forest industry.
RIL for Forest Management: Adiwarsita Adinegoro
Reduced Impact Logging: Does it Cost or Does it Pay? Wulf
Workshop on New Trends in Wood Harvesting with Cable Systems for Sustainable Forest Management in the Mountains
Participants exchanged experience and shared state-of-the-art knowledge on recent developments in forest harvesting with cable systems for sustainable forest management in mountainous areas. The Joint FAO/ECE/ILO Committee on Forest Technology, Management and Training organized the workshop. IUFRO participated and the Austrian government provided support.
More than 40 papers were presented covering a wide range of issues associated with cable system harvesting. Examples of current technology were presented with suggestions of future advances. The changes evident in the operation of cable systems were discussed. Issues on sustainable forest operations and improved utilisation using cable systems were deliberated. The reduction of environmental impacts and fibre waste were addressed. The productivity and costs of alternative machine and operational combinations were analysed. Several papers stressed the need to integrate the planning of road and extraction activities, especially with cable systems. Human resources and worker health, safety and training were important elements of several presentations. Discussions of work organization and business arrangements were also presented.
The participants travelled to several locations to observe cable harvesting systems in operation in the mountains of Austria.
The workshop proceedings are expected to be published by the end of this year. Please contact Joachim Lorbach, FAO, Rome to obtain copies: Joachim.Lorbach@fao.org.
Seminar on Harvesting of Non-Wood Forest Products
Menemen-Izmir, Turkey, 2 - 8 October
The seminar addressed the following topics:
There were 41 papers and posters, most originally
in English with summaries in the other two languages (French &
Russian), presented in plenary. Many very lively discussions were
generated among the participants. The participants expressed a widely felt
need for more information and training on the task of sustainably managing
for Non-Wood Forest Products. Several specific conclusions and
recommendations were made in the seminar report. Copies of the seminar
proceedings are available without charge from FAO, Rome. Please send
First International Precision Forestry Symposium
Seattle, Washington, USA, 17 - 20 June 2001, The University of Washington hosted this symposium to share research on forest management at a new scale of resolution and accuracy. Precision forestry employs high-resolution data to support site-specific decision-making. It provides measurements and processes to initiate, cultivate, and harvest trees, as well as, enhance riparian zones and other environmental resources. The goal is to produce economic and environmental benefits. There were more than 100 participants from 11 countries.
Remote Sensing of Forest Land and Vegetation
Airborne LIDAR, GIS, high-resolution photography
Machinery, Monitoring, Road Layout
GPS surveying, models generated from LIDAR data, vehicle management and environmental conservation
Sensing, Measuring and Tagging Trees
Real Time Inventory, chemical sensors, automated sensors, ultrasound
Decision Support Systems
Data requirements, information needs, case studies
Contact the College of Forest Resources Continuing Education office, firstname.lastname@example.org, to purchase a copy of the proceedings on CD.
Forest Harvesting and Engineering
The FAO Forest Harvesting and Engineering Programme continues to promote environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially acceptable forest operations.
The Committee on Forestry (COFO) is FAO's most important vehicle for facilitating dialogue in the forestry sector. The biennial sessions bring together heads of forest services and other senior officials to identify policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO. The 15th session of COFO was 12-16 March 2001 at FAO in Rome. One action of COFO was to commend FAO and its member countries in Asia for the development of Codes of Practice in the Asia-Pacific Region, including several national codes. It suggested that other regions, particularly Africa and Latin America, could benefit from a similar initiative.
The Forest Harvesting and Engineering Programme has followed the FAO Model Code of Forest Harvesting Practice with several efforts.
FAO prepared jointly with a number of other agencies the Regional Strategy for Implementing the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia–Pacific, published in 1999 by the Asia–Pacific Forestry Commission. Joint FAO/ILO support was given to develop a National Code of Forest Harvesting Practice for China. This draft China Code was distributed for review at the March COFO session.
A meeting of organizations interested in furthering the development of codes of practice in Africa met for a day, 23 April 2001, at FAO in Rome. It was recognized that the different organizations are active in most areas connected with forest harvesting, however, each of them has particular comparative advantage, which can contribute towards reaching a common goal.
The participants of the meeting agreed that all agencies present would jointly strive in Central and West Africa for the improvement of forest harvesting practice in order to contribute to a better management of all forests in the region.
Another one-day workshop, 24 May 2001, was held in Yaounde, Cameroon. The effort to share information and formulate strategies to promote reduced impact logging in Central Africa will continue. A primary goal is to develop a Regional Code of Harvesting Practice for forested Africa.
In particular for FAO:
FAO Rome will function as an information and networking hub. Towards this end a listserver for harvesting issues, with special emphasis on Central and West Africa was established. This French language listserver complements the English language RILNET operated from Bangkok and focused on the Asia– Pacific Region.
FAO will take the lead in the development of the Code of Harvesting Practice, whereas others will take the lead in training issues.
Several case studies supporting efforts towards sound forest operations are underway and expected to be published in the coming year.
New FAO education
The database is designed for a broad range of external
users, providing information to students and anyone interested in
forestry. It is aimed to give education and training institutions the
opportunity to advertise the short courses they offer. The database is
open to any organization (private company, NGO, state agency, etc.)
desiring worldwide distribution of information. It is very important that
the database is updated continually. Take a look and provide some
feedback. You are invited to send new or updated information and to
distribute the database address
Life-cycle analysis of wood
Detect defects in trees
Theodor D. Leininger, Daniel L. Schmoldt and Frank H. Tainter recently produced a paper exploring ultrasonic detectors. Ultrasonic decay detectors (UDDs) have been available commercially for several years. Recently, a UDD has shown promise in detecting bacterial wetwood in red oaks in the southern United States and in a Chilean hardwood species. Current UDDs only measure ultrasound signal time of flight (i.e., velocity) from the transmitter to the receiver. This measurement is insufficient to distinguish wood decay from a void, or either of those from the cell wall degradation. Further, a 5-cm diameter hole is created in the bark. This process takes time and causes wounds that serve as entry points for pathogens and insects. An overview is presented of the current effort to develop a UDD that records time-domain and frequency-domain waveforms that can be positively linked to individual types of defects and minimizes tree wounds. Preliminary results suggest that further experimentation can lead to a new generation of UDDs. Contact Theodor Leininger at USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station. E-mail: email@example.com
SkogForsk has teamed with researchers from the Lund
College of Technology and developed technology capable of detecting root
rot in trees. The principle is simple, involving measurement of the
electrical conductivity between two points on a tree roughly 10 cm apart.
Contact: Lars-Göran Sundblad, E-mail:
Ecological function and productivity
Consequences of an ecological transformation of
forests for harvesting operations and timber marketing
Sustaining Long-Term Productivity and Ecological
Functions of Intensively-Managed Wet-site Forests
A SkogForsk study suggests that if the world forest industry improved fuel consumption as the Swedish industry expects to do within two years then the world industry could save about 100 million US dollars per year in fuel costs. The contact for the study is Per-Åke Arvidsson, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Several changes have occurred within the forest harvesting group here at FAO, Rome.
We welcomed Laura Russo to our group as of 15 May 2001. She has a degree in Agriculture from University of Palermo, Italy, a diploma on tropical forestry from ENGREF Montpellier, France and an M.Sc. in Watershed Management from University of Arizona, USA. She first joined the FAO Forestry Department in 1990 as an Italian Associate Professional Officer. For the last four years she has held the position of Non-Wood Forest Products Officer in the Forest Products Division. She joined FOPH as Forest Utilization and Environment Officer. Her work experience is mainly in Africa and Latin America. As one of her first projects, she will be involved in preparing a harvesting code for African countries. This is a component of the EC/FAO Partnership programme, Sustainable Forest Management in African ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Countries.
Norbert Winkler moved on to Brussels after three years here. François Ndeckere-Ziangba moved to another branch within FAO. Josiane Hababou-Zamperini, secretary for 25 years, retired in February.
Several others have ably provided assistance here in Rome during the past year, particularly Martin Noebauer, Nikolaus Fernsebner, Attila Lengyel and Jonathan Fannin.
Basic Geosynthetics: A Guide to Best Practices
Geosynthetics are increasingly used to stabilise soils in forest engineering applications. A proper evaluation of the proposed use, materials specification and installation procedures is important to good construction practices. Geosynthetic stabilisation of soils involves four basic functions of reinforcement, separation, filtration and drainage. The extent to which some or all of these functions are mobilised is governed by the site condition and construction application. This guide, based on an integration of recent field studies and applied research, addresses these issues for use of geotextiles and geogrids in forest engineering applications.
The guide includes an introduction to geosynthetic
properties, basic functions, site delivery and a checklist for field
inspection. Ten construction case reports are provided on forest
engineering applications for roads, log-culverts, slope stabilization,
subsurface drainage, riprap revetments and bridge abutments in western
The guide is intended for professional foresters, engineers,
geoscientists, contractors and technicians involved in the planning,
inspection, monitoring and supervision of forest road construction and
Athanassiadis, D. 2000. Resource Consumption and Emissions Induced by Logging Machinery in a Life Cycle Perspective. Silvestria 143, Doctoral thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå. 76 pp. English.
Beschta, R.L., M.R. Pyles, A.E. Skaugset & C.G. Surfleet 2000. Peakflow responses to forest practices in the western Cascades of Oregon, USA, Journal of Hydrology 233: 102-120, English. The combined effects of road building, clearfelling, cable logging and site preparation were evaluated using long-term peakflow records for nine watersheds in the Cascade Mountains. For small watersheds (~100 ha), results indicate that peakflow increases are not evident for events greater than a 5-yr return interval. For large watersheds (60–670 km2), results indicated no strong evidence for any peakflow increases.
Boston, K. & Dysart, G. A. 2000 Comparison of Felling Techniques on Stump Height and Log Damage with Economic Interpretations, West. J. Appl. For. 15(2): 59–61, English. This study investigated stump heights and butt log damage. The potential value loss was determined for manual felling and five different felling heads for logging sites located in the central North Island of New Zealand. The lowest potential value loss was US$316/ha, while manual felling had the highest potential value loss at over US$1037/ha.
Fannin, R.J. 2000. Basic Geosynthetics: A Guide to Best Practices. Richmond, B.C., Canada, BiTech Publishers, 86 pp. English. (see page 7)
Gardiner, E.S., D.R. Russell Jr., J.D. Hodges & T.C. Fristoe 2000. Impacts of Mechanical Tree Felling on Development of Water Tupelo Regeneration in the Mobile Delta, Alabama, South. J. Appl. For. 24(2): 65-69, English. Stand harvesting promoted establishment of water tupelo seedlings regardless of felling method. But results indicated that mechanical felling techniques used in this study may adversely impact regeneration of water tupelo swamps where coppice is a desirable form of reproduction.
Han, H-S. & Kellogg, L.D. 2000. Damage Characteristics in Young Douglas-Fir Stands from Commercial Thinning with Four Timber Harvesting Systems, West. J. Appl. For. 15(1): 27–33, English. Damage to residual trees from thinning was characterized and compared among harvesting systems: tractor, cut-to-length, skyline, and helicopter. Stands with various residual densities were studied. Recommendations for minimizing stand damage are included.
IPC Groene Ruimte 1999. The Chainsaw in the Tropical Forest. The Netherlands. 32 pp. Dutch, English, French. This booklet with many graphics has been used in training sessions in Gabon, Guyana and Suriname.
Johansson, J. 2000. Excavators and Backhoe Loaders as Base Machines in Logging Operations. Silvestria 141, Doctoral thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. 84 pp. English.
Shi, Mingzhang 1997. Principle and Practice of Logging Technology in China, China Forestry Publishing House, ISBN 7-5038-1936-7, 378 pp. Chinese. Here is a book on logging written following the FAO Model Code of Forest Harvesting Practice. Contact: email@example.com
Youngblood, A. 2000. Damage to Residual Trees and Advance Regeneration from Skyline and Forwarder Yarding, West. J. Appl. For. 15(2): 101–107, English. Reducing the risk of wildfire and outbreaks of insects and diseases through fuel reduction is a priority management objective on many lands.