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Assessing the Potential for Log Sort Yards to Improve Financial Viability of Forest Restoration Treatments

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Forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments have been widely applied in the western United States with the purpose of reducing the size and intensity of wildfires. However, the low value of small-diameter trees produced from such treatments has partly constrained the ability to treat all the areas identified as being in need of treatments. The objective of this study was to analyze the potential for log sort yards to increase the residual value of forest restoration treatments relative to a standard sort at landing in Ravalli County, Montana. We simulated log handing and transportation under two log sorting scenarios in Ravalli County: sort at landing resulting in two log products and sort at sort yard resulting in seven potential log products. Costs and value recovery in each scenario were estimated, and the residual values were compared. We found that establishment of a log sort yard in Ravalli County could increase the residual value of forest restoration treatments by 5%. However, the benefit of the sort yard varies substantially by the forest type from which logs are harvested and the available volume of and markets for high value products, such as house logs.
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Keywords: financial analysis; forest restoration treatment; log sort yard; residual value; spatial analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-12-02

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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