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Forest Harvesting & Operations Research

Forest harvesting
Forest Service

Forest Harvesting & Operations Research provides the science and technology to integrate ecology and engineering into economically and ecologically viable forest operations. Forest operations are the physical actions which change the forest -- altering structure, composition, condition, or value to meet society’s needs for clean air and water, forest products, wildlife, recreation, and other benefits. Forest operations also include the development and use of the infrastructure, primarily roads and trails that support value recovery.

Our researchers develop more effective methods and tools for access, stand and site treatments, and recovery for improved management practices and methods necessary for sustainable and socially acceptable forest resource management. Without new technologies, managers of both public and private forest lands are not able to fully implement practices needed to provide a full array of values and services, while protecting the future health and productivity of our Nation's forest resources. Improved and new forest operations systems and technologies help to:

  • better create and protect wildlife habitat,
  • harvest trees on seasonally wet lands,
  • reduce erosion and stream sedimentation from forest roads,
  • maintain soil and site productivity,
  • elevate aesthetics of future forest activities through computer-aided visualization,
  • prevent and manage major fire or insect and disease outbreaks by thinning unnaturally dense forests, and
  • rehabilitate and restore forest and range health, productivity, and function.

Forest Operations research generates benefits for society and land owners by developing the means to sustain and enhance forest condition and function, goods and services outputs, and forest value.

Forest Service Forest Harvesting & Operations Research