Why add a transportation model?

Just like real estate, the three most important factors in forest operations planning are location, location, and location. The reason that location is so important is because

  1. Access development and hauling costs are a significant expense. Rising fuel costs continue to make hauling one of the largest expenditures in the forest management program. Better planning of harvest scheduling across planning periods may translate to improved efficiency and major long term cost savings.

  2. Management treatments generally cannot occur in locations where there is no road access (of course, helicopter logging is on of the exceptions to this rule). Knowing where the wood is located is only part of the challenge of wood supply modelling. Knowing where it is coming from, where it is going and how it is getting there can provide valuable insights into the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability of the forest management undertaking.

  3. Additional spatial guidance using controls in the planning model can help reduce the management footprint and subsequent fragmentation of the forest. Road cost objectives (such as hauling or maintenance cost budgets) give the model an additional incentive to consolidate planned harvest events.