You are here

Production rates for United States Forest Service brush disposal planning in the northern Rocky Mountains

Posted date: March 09, 2017
Publication Year: 
2017
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-358. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 33 p.

Abstract

Timber harvesting operations generate brush and other vegetative debris, which often has no marketable value. In many western U.S. forests, these materials represent a fire hazard and a potential threat to forest health and must be removed or burned for disposal. Currently, there is no established, consistent method to estimate brush disposal production rates in the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region, which spans Montana and parts of Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Production rates developed specifically for one Northern Region national forest over a decade ago are the basis for many brush disposal production and cost estimates. Evidence suggests that these rates are applied incorrectly in many circumstances. Through a survey of experienced fuels specialists we have developed a Northern Region brush disposal production guide to serve as a baseline from which the required components of brush disposal plans, fuels treatment contracts, and force account planning can be further refined and tailored for individual burn units. Results capture variability in productivity across 10 districts on 5 national forests for hand and machine preparation work, and burning activity fuels and natural fuels. Average production rates are presented with the range and the number of respondents in each category. Results consistently demonstrate that the productivity of Northern Region specialists implementing brush disposal operations is far more efficient than the production estimates contained in other Northern Region guides. This new guide can be used to improve brush disposal planning for the region, and may serve as a model for other regions to collect and provide updated information that reflects current forest conditions, practices, and productivity.

Citation

Loeffler, Dan; Hoyt, Stu; Anderson, Nathaniel. 2017. Production rates for United States Forest Service brush disposal planning in the northern Rocky Mountains. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-358. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 33 p.