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In many countries, forestry and forest products constitute an important resource base. They also provide a substantial contribution to the national economy and form a significant part of the gross national product.

There is, however, increasing concern about the rapid decrease of resources, which is particularly pronounced in the tropical zone. Much of the destruction of these resources is attributed to the desperate need for more land on which to grow food and to uncontrolled logging practices.

In view of this situation, there is a need to intensify conservation-oriented appropriate utilization, ensuring a more responsible use of the available resources. Forests must be used without endangering their existence for future generations.

Ways and means must be sought to increase the efficiency and productivity of environmentally sound forest harvesting operations.

Forest operations are often of a very complex nature and need to take care of the environmental, social, economic, cultural and technical concerns in a given set of conditions.

This manual has been designed to assist harvesting managers in calculating costs rapidly and in evaluating various options involving different combinations of harvesting machines and systems. It covers all levels of mechanization, ranging from basic to intermediate and advanced machinery.

It is hoped that the manual will contribute to enhancing economic viability and productivity in forest operations by identifying possible cost reductions through appropriate cost control and evaluation, and optimizing harvesting, transport and road construction costs.

The program has been designed by Dr. J. Sessions, Professor of Forest Engineering at the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, USA and programmed by J.B. Sessions.

The project was supervised by R. Heinrich, Chief of the Forest Harvesting and Transport Branch, Forest Products Division.

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