A newsletter for alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students of the OSU College of Forestry, volume 16, number 2

 

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Forest Engineering

Boston Returns to OSU as Faculty Member

Kevin Boston, who earned his MF in 1991 and PhD in 1996 at OSU's College of Forestry, has joined the Forest Engineering faculty as Assistant Professor.

Boston returns to OSU from New Zealand, where he was the national supply chain planner for Carter Holt Harvey Fibre Solutions. His specialty in the College will be forest transportation and operations design. Boston's current research interests are spatial harvesting scheduling, supply chain management, and road systems management.

 

Computer Technology Aids Harvest Scheduling

Forest planning in the Elliott and Tillamook State Forests has taken on a whole new dimension since John Sessions got involved. Sessions writes computer modeling programs to project harvesting schedules that take spatial and regulatory constraints into account. These models are helping state foresters develop forest management plans to meet state requirements and habitat conservation plans to meet federal requirements.

"This kind of spatial component derives a good solution to put on the ground," says Pam Overhulser, resource analyst from ODF. "It's a huge step forward in the modeling field."

Using Synthetic Rope

Forest engineer John Garland continues to research the feasibility and practicality of using synthetic rope to replace wire rope in logging operations. Funded by OSHA, Garland's initial research proved that synthetic rope has definite ergonomic advantages. OSU student loggers now use it for winch lines, guy lines, and mainlines, and professional loggers are beginning to use it as well. Another purpose of this second research phase is to design suitable end connectors so synthetic rope can be used in tandem with wire rope.

Paired Watershed Study to Examine Intensively Managed Forests

While most of today's timber harvest comes from intensively managed, regenerated forests, data on the effects of contemporary forest management practices on these lands is very limited, says Arne Skaugset of Forest Engineering Department.

"Whenever we look at the effects of intensive forest management on water quality at a watershed scale, we're always limited by the paired watershed studies from 30 to 40 years ago," he says. "Those studies investigated the logging of old growth stands harvested using large equipment." No comparable environmental study has yet been conducted on forestland that has been intensively managed using contemporary practices, with an established road system and smaller trees that are harvested with smaller equipment.

The Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study and Demonstration Area Project is meant to fill that knowledge gap. Through this pilot project of the Watersheds Research Cooperative, scientists involved in the Hinkle Creek project will have the opportunity to pair two watersheds in a 55-year-old, harvest-regenerated forest. The purpose of the study is to evaluate how well current forest practices protect water quality, aquatic habitat, and fish—particularly salmonids. Hinkle Creek is a 5,000-acre watershed located 30 miles east of Sutherlin in the Cascade foothills and is owned primarily by Roseburg Forest Products. The north watershed will remain untouched for at least ten years so it can be used as the control area. Meanwhile, Roseburg has ceased harvesting in the south watershed and will leave it as is until 2005. Scientists are in the process of installing equipment and collecting background data on both watersheds. The first studies will focus on the cumulative affects of harvesting in upstream, nonfish-bearing headwaters. This issue has been addressed conceptually for years and this project will be one of the first efforts to address it quantitatively.

This unique opportunity to engage in manipulative studies at a watershed level has drawn scientists to the project, says Skaugset. Teams are in place to study the hydrology, freshwater and anadromous fish populations, aquatic invertebrates, and amphibians at the Hinkle Creek watersheds. Scientific leadership for the study comes from OSU's Forest Engineering Department, FRESC, the Fisheries and Wildlife Department, and biologists from ODFW. Roseburg Forest Products, OFIC, and ODF have provided strong administrative support.

An important aspect of the Hinkle Creek project will be the development of programs to demonstrate forest practices and results of the research. These programs will be targeted to forest resource professionals, forest landowners, policy makers, school children, and the public at large.

"Hinkle Creek is quintessentially the type of forest land that the private industry is currently managing," says Skaugset. "This project will give us an opportunity to get a handle on the effect of contemporary forest practices on water quality and fisheries."

Innovative Grants Program Funds Oak Creek Watershed Study

Each year, the CoF solicits proposals from within the college for innovative programs in education, research, or extended education. Funding is provided by discretionary funds generated by the College.

In 2002, Arne Skaugset and Jeff McDonnell received a $10,000 grant to study the hydrology of roads in the Oak Creek watershed within McDonald Forest. The project will investigate the connectivity of the road system to the stream system using stable isotope tracers. The project should provide insight into how roads affect the hydrology of a watershed.

Successful Forest Engineering Graduate Students – Congratulations!

Abdullah Akay, PhD "Minimizing Total Cost of Construction, Maintenance, and Transportation Costs with Computer-Aided Forest Road Design"

Jennie Cornell, MF "Aerial Forest Operations: Mineral Amendment Project"

 


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