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The importance of a strategic timber harvesting plan

Creating a timber harvesting plan is essential for a successful harvest. Read now to learn about the advantages and how we can help!

Explore the advantages and methods for creating a plan for your forest harvest

When it comes to forest management, timber harvesting is one of the most important stages to plan and control in the whole production chain. With a recent report finding that 67% of forest land in the U.S. is legally available for harvest activities, it is essential for those with forest investments to consider the importance of creating a strategic timber harvesting plan. [1]

Timber harvesting is a more complex process than most investors expect. It often takes up to two years to get from early planning to harvest completion, so it is vital to give yourself the time needed to accurately prepare for a good harvest and avoid waste or damage. [2]

Continue reading to learn more about the advantages and importance of creating a strategic timber harvesting plan.

What is the purpose of a timber harvesting plan?

The main purpose of a timber harvesting plan is to promote the optimization of resources and tools needed for the harvest as well as protect the natural resources such as soil, water, wildlife habitat, and land of the surrounding area. A strategic plan allows for a seamless harvest that follows the set parameters and achieves the goals established.

Timber harvesting planning also makes it possible to trace the sequence of activities throughout the production chain which facilitates mapping, forecasting and mitigation of risks and errors in the forest management process.

Learn more:

Why accurate and accessible information is the key to successful forest asset management

What are the main types of timber harvesting planning?

While there are many different ways to plan a successful timber harvest, there are three main types of plans that the majority of investors follow to find success during each harvest:

  • Strategic Planning is a type of long-term planning that ensures the sustainability of the forestry business over several cycles, and allows for analysis of the variation in the market and your assets. Its objective function is to maximize Net Present Value (NPV).
  • Tactical Planning is a form of planning used to make strategic planning feasible, aimed at additionally targeting the production flow. Its objective function is to minimize costs.
  • Operational Planning is a method of planning that facilitates the operationalization of the tactician and allows for monthly scheduling of the various processes. Its objective function is to be used as a basis for budgeting.

The right timber harvesting plan for your forest investment depends on your harvest objectives and the ways in which you prefer your production chain to function.

Why should I create a timber harvesting plan?

The principal advantage of creating a timber harvesting plan is identifying if your project goals will be achieved through the harvest based on variables such as available area for planting, volume to be produced, available resources, and expected financial return. Analyzing these variables as part of planning allows you to effectively simulate future scenarios, identifying expected outcomes and new opportunities.

Additionally, harvest planning proactively identifies conflicts that may arise during the harvest process and enables the optimization of the operating system for harvesting.

Strategic timber harvesting also allows for the possibility of increasing productivity, reducing costs and improving quality, which results in greater profitability and market competitiveness.

How forest management technology can help

Forest management technology is designed to help in tactical and operational planning of forests, so it can make creating a timber harvesting plan easier and more efficient for investors.

At INFLOR, our forest management solutions are designed to assist you in various stages of forest management including harvesting, with all the tools and data you need to gain better insights and yield the best results.

INFLOR Forest’s integrated and efficient management tools provide:

  • Agility in data collection in the field
  • Elimination of data input errors
  • Improved communication between office and field
  • Anticipation of validation errors
  • Data accessible anywhere with internet
  • Data collection abilities without internet access, later synchronized with the office,
  • And more.

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1: U.S. Forest Service | Forest Resources of the United States, 2017
2: Oregon State University | Timber harvesting: a process of many decisions

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