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Applying the Decision Support System, TRACER, to Forest Road Design

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A three-dimensional forest road alignment model, TRACER, was developed to assist a forest road designer with rapid evaluation of alternative road paths. The objective is to design a route with the lowest total cost considering construction, maintenance, and transportation costs, while conforming to design specifications, environmental requirements, and driver safety. The model integrates two optimization techniques: a linear programming for earthwork allocation and a heuristic approach for vertical alignment selection. The model enhances user efficiency through automated horizontal and vertical curve fitting routines, cross-section generation, and cost routines for construction, maintenance, and vehicle use. The average sediment delivered to a stream from the road section is estimated using the method of a GIS-based road erosion/delivery model. It is anticipated that the development of a design procedure incorporating modern graphics capability, hardware, software languages, modern optimization techniques, and environmental considerations will improve the design process for forest roads. West. J. Appl. For. 20(3):184–191.

Keywords: 3D road optimization; Automated forest road design; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; minimizing road cost; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Engineering, Faculty of Forestry Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University Kahramanmaras Turkey 46100 Phone: 90 (344) 223-7666, ext. 453;, Fax: 90 (344) 221-7244, Email: 2: Department of Forest Engineering, College of Forestry Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331

Publication date: July 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • 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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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