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There are two significant extensions that could be added to LOG 2.0. We recommend including these extensions if further development of LOG is undertaken. The first one is to include log allocation in the model. The second one is to include more up to date forestry planning techniques into the model.
Log allocation determines the distribution of products to customers. Log allocation is important for the successful management of a forest. The demand for different wood products influences the decisions made, as managers need to best allocate their limited supply of products to consumers. This is an option that has been included in FOLPI, so it would be desirable to include log allocation into LOG in the future.
Inclusion of Modern Forestry Planning Techniques
In recent years, researchers have presented a number of new techniques. Some of the important ones are described below.
Heikkinen presents a model that views timber harvesting as portfolio management. His model deals with the trade-off between investing harvest income in financial assets now versus postponing harvesting to a later date. It is a multi period stochastic optimisation model that finds the best harvesting schedule and investment package. This is beneficial when speculating on the forest growth rate needed to make the forest a competitive investment.
McNaughton et al presents adjacency constraint modelling. The law often requires managers to conserve other resources, such as wildlife, soil and water quality. The laws include a maximum clearfell area with a time interval between replanting. To comply with these laws, adjacency constraints control the availability of harvesting certain blocks of trees relative to the harvesting of adjacent blocks.
Other issues include:
concerns over the cumulative or road building, patch cutting, habitat fragmentation, and riparian and wet-lands protection.
the consequences of several independent land owners taking action in the same local geographic area.
forestry management with multiple objectives.
incorporating uncertainty of natural resources
considering hierarchial approaches that link decisions at the operation, tactical and stategic levels (Bare & Weintraub).
Garcia presents other approaches to solving forest management planning models, including looking at decomposition and partitioning methods, utilising oldest-first and other cutting priorities, dynamic linear programming, and specialised algorithms such as the optimal control theory algorithms and the Hoganson-Rose procedure.
Adding the latest techniques into LOG 2.0 would provide a program that deals with issues that may currently be of concern to forestry managers. It would provide a package that considers other factors other that just specifics of the forest.