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An Empirical Evaluation of Spatial Restrictions in Industrial Harvest Scheduling: The SFI Planning Problem

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Member companies of the American Forest and Paper Association have adopted common operating principles called the Sustainable Forestry InitiativeSM (SFI) that call for marked reductions in the size of clearcut harvest areas, greenup intervals and proximity restrictions on the harvest of adjacent areas. A commercially available hierarchical planning software suite is used to analyze the impact of the adjacency and harvest size objectives within SFI on a representative forest of the U.S. Southeast. Ten alternative, spatially feasible tactical schedules were developed for a 15 yr planning horizon and achieved 73.4 to 75.6% of the harvest volume predicted by the nonspatial strategic harvest schedule. Spatially feasible harvest levels were negatively affected by increasingly restrictive spatial parameters: the cost of increasing the greenup interval by 1 yr was at least 5% of the strategic harvest volume, and reducing the maximum allowable block size from 180 ac to 60 ac yielded a 10% reduction in harvest. The planning software has been implemented at Champion International Corporation, providing planners with a valuable tool for strategic and tactical forest planning. South. J. Appl. For. 25(2):60–68.
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Keywords: SFI; Spatial planning; adjacency; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; harvest scheduling; natural resource management; natural resources; spatial restrictions

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: 2001-05-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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