Comparison of Harvest Scheduling Approaches: Using Woodstock vs. Traditional (Back of the Envelope) Harvest Planning Methods
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Understanding and managing agricultural or forestry resources can be very difficult for numerous reasons. Methods used to harvest timber vary, and can affect the NPV of a stand. In this study, we compare two approaches: (1) traditional harvest planning (back of the envelope) which includes harvest scheduling that is done by hand (Bettinger et al., 2010). In this approach, final harvest time is determined based on the highest net present value (NPV), and (2) Woodstock and Stanly (Remsoft inc.) harvest scheduling software. Woodstock generates LP matrices using a generalized Model II formulation and produces optimal solutions for the long-term. Using the harvest schedule from Woodstock, Stanley allocates forest stands to harvest blocks according to adjacency, maximum opening size, and harvest flow constraints. The initial study area for this research is the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest, which is located five miles southeast of Auburn University, with access from Lee County Highway 146. The hypothesis, tested in this study, is that the Woodstock and Stanley approach will improve the profitability and sustainability of the forested area as compared to previous harvest scheduling approaches. Both Woodstock and Stanley are harvest scheduling software; however, they differ in several respects, which will be explained in this study. The main objective of this study is to compare the Woodstock approach and the traditional (back of the envelope) harvest planning methods in terms of economic and ecological benefits. To meet our objective, we will try to answer the following questions; • How will the Woodstock approach affect the forest’s economic and ecological benefits? • How well does the Woodstock and Stanley approach perform relative to the Traditional Harvest Planning Method? • What are the pros and cons of using the Woodstock approaches?