US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Dana Mitchell

Project Leader
521 Devall Drive
United States

Phone: 334-826-8700 x123
Contact Dana Mitchell

Current Research

Biomass harvesting, collection and storage are the primary focus areas of our current research. In a large project involving many research partners, we investigated the use of young pine plantations for biomass. This project included a wide variety of topics including equipment design and selection, harvesting production studies, chip van design and testing, log truck design and testing, and transpirational drying. In other projects, we have investigated the use of various ways to bundle and bale low-value forest residues. By densifying forest residues into a form that is compact and easy to handle, we can reduce the cost to transport the woody biomass material to an end-user facility.

Short rotation woody crops are another source for woody biomass. These purpose-grown trees are managed in a variety of ways with a range of planting densities (trees per acre, single or dual row) and management types (single stem or coppice). These different management decisions impact how and when the biomass can be harvested. We continue to investigate research topics surrounding equipment selection and the impact of type of cutting mechanism (shear or saw) on coppice response.

Other areas of research include the use of extended working hours in logging operations to evaluate production rates and impacts on forest workers; small scale forestry options for small tracts; and pinyon-juniper harvesting options to improve/restore rangeland vegetation.


  • Auburn University, Ph.D. Forestry
  • Oregon State University, M.F. Forest Engineering
  • Washington State University, B.S. Forest Management

Professional Organizations

  • Council of Forest Engineering, Member (1994 - Current)
    Attend meetings, moderate sessions, and present current research findings. Assisted in compiling the proceedings papers from the 2010 Annual Meeting.
  • American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Various Positions (2005 - 2010)
    T-12 (Forest Engineering) Committee member, Past Secretary, Past Chairperson.


Research Highlights


A Simple Technique to Improve Woody Biomass Quality

The commercial markets for biofuels and bio-based products will require cost-competitive raw materials to compete with rival energy sources. The ...


Last updated on : 07/01/2020