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Preliminary Soil Disturbance Assessment of a Skyline Logging Operation Performing Five Silvicultural Prescriptions

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  035014,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14117) @2003
Authors:   John Klepac, Stephen E. Reutebuch
Keywords:   Harvesting, soil disturbance, silvicultural prescription, skid trail, erosion

Surface soil disturbance was compared among five different skyline logging units (commercial thinning, group selection, patch cut, 2-age, and clearcut) and a control unit. Undisturbed area was inversely related to harvested volume per acre and 8 percent higher than previously observed with ground-based harvesting methods. No clear trends were observed across treatments, likely reflecting the over-riding effect of topography on equipment selection and operating methods and their associated disturbance. In units where terrain slope allowed increased use of a feller-buncher, soil disturbance likewise increased. Overall, area of exposed soil was 9 percent lower and area covered with litter following harvest was 9 percent higher than previously observed with groundbased harvesting methods. Severe soil disturbance (soil exposed with ruts greater than 4 inches deep) was limited and similar between treatment units (0.8-2.7 percent of area). Newly deposited litter generally increased with increasing volume harvested per acre.

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