Quick Tour Part II: Transportation and Patches

Table of Contents

Getting the harvest to the mills
Controlling transportation expenditures and wood flow
Reducing harvest fragmentation with patch objectives
Setting and achieving management goals
Review distribution of management activities
Your turn

The previous Quick Tour and Key Concepts chapters explored some of the important elements of Patchworks to help get started with understanding and using the software. Now that you are familiar with how to navigate around Patchworks and have been introduced to the Patchworks datamodel we can start to explore some more advanced modelling features.

Patchworks provides controls to model both transportation and the spatial distribution of landscape features (patches). These two modeling elements add additional realizm to the scenario results and provide some control over the distribution of disturbance on the landscape. Patching and routing are two of the important spatial components to the model and both help provide important objectives for the scheduler.

This section will provide an introduction to the route and patch modelling features available in Patchworks. This Quick Tour is just an overview; there are a number of sections within this documentation that provide the necessary detail to create your own model using these features. For more detailed information on these topics refer to the following sections:

This chapter will continue to explore the Crownest Pass management area and address some of the real management concerns they have dealt with in terms of transportation and harvest patch sizes. This Quick Tour will run through the following topics:

A road model has been added to our Crownest Pass model to add additional realism in our exploration of the impacts on management options and wood supply. In our sample dataset we have two hypothetical mills that are fed by products from the C5; Mill1 is located to the south of the unit while Mill2 is located to the north east. Both mills process conifer harvested from the unit however Mill1 can also process some of the deciduous volume (see Figure 26, “Mill locations for the Crowsnest Pass planning model”).

Figure 26. Mill locations for the Crowsnest Pass planning model

The Crowsnest Pass planning area feeds two mills, referred to as Mill1 and Mill2. MILL1, located in the north east processes both conifer and deciduous products while MILL2 located in the south processes only conifer products.

Wood supply quotas have been determined by product category and mill destination, and for better or worse are assumed to remain constant for all planning periods. Additional transportation expenditures need to be controlled as well, such as the hauling cost to get products to each destination, and the total cost to maintain and construct new roads within the C5. Keeping these transportation expenditures down to reasonable levels while maintaining the harvest supply is crucially important, and will likely have a strong influence in controlling the management footprint in the unit. The Patchworks scheduler will reduce the roading footprint (and thus control costs) by using techniques such asgrouping harvest blocks, sharing roads and using existing roads as much as possible to keep expenditures below the target levels set.

Harvest patch size objectives can create an additional incentive to group harvest activity and achieve the desired distribution on the landscape for habitat and efficiency.

The sample dataset for the C5 forest includes two different PIN files that can be used to start the Patchworks model. In the previous Quick Tour (see Quick Tour Part I: Getting Started) we used a 'bare bones' PIN file that did not load the routes and patches. For this section of the tour we will be using the C5_full.pin which contains additional features including routes, patches and many additional reports.

The additional features in the PIN file reference the route data files and describe the route account set up. The harvest patch accounts are also defined and loaded using this PIN file. All this has been done for you, with the addition of some more map layers and reports. Follow the instructions below to load the C5_full.pin.

Figure 27. The Application Launcher dialog.

The Application Launcher is the starting point to launch the Patchworks model and all other Patchworks tools.

  1. Choose Patchworks from the Application Launcher and then click Go to start the program.

  2. Choose BROWSE to open the file chooser dialog.

  3. Navigate to the file: C:/Program Files/Spatial Planning Systems/sample/analysis/C5_full.pin and click OK to continue.

  4. Select FINISH in the Patchworks dialog to continue loading.

This time when Patchworks is loading you will notice a few more features in the progress window. Patchworks is now loading vertices, segments and destinations into the model. These are the files that make up the route data model. To learn more about these files and how they relate see the section called “Road model data files”.

Once Patchworks has finished loading the Map Viewer will display the Crowsnest Pass including the satellite imagery and seral stage map layer. In the Legend however there are now three additional layers:


Each of these new layers are based on harvest activity and represent the results of management. No harvest activity can take place in the first planning period, which is the default setting of the map viewer (the first planning period (P0) represents the initial conditions of the model). In order to see data values in these map layers you would need to schedule some treatments, and set the planning period to P1 or later.