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Forest resource & LiDAR

Recent developments in LiDAR technology, combined to other available data sources (aerial photographs, aerial photo series by UAVs,…), are now allowing a precise mapping of mountain forest resource volumes and qualities. Integrating this technology will provide an innovative response to the challenges of a precise and robust knowledge on the available growing stocks. The project aims at testing and developping tools that will help forestry end-users to benefit from this technological advance.

Forest accessibility

After the identification of forest resources, the second step of an efficient forest management is to evaluate the accessibility of these resources. In mountain areas, topography is the main constraint to a technical and economically efficient harvesting. The project will demonstrate how to use topographic LiDAR data in geographic information systems (GIS) for an optimal planning of forest harvesting and logging while taking current and scheduled accessibility of forest resources into account.

Forest and industry connectivity

Once the forest resources and accessibility are characterized, then remains the issue of the connectivity between wood piles in the forests and wood yard of mills. This link is often neglected but is crucial for a comprehensive assessment of the wood supply efficiency.

Costs and benefits evaluation

NEWFOR aims at developping decision-making tools dedicated to the definition of strategies for sustainable mountain wood supply chain. To fulfil this objective, tools for identifying forest resources, their accessibility and connectivity to the wood market are first considered separately. In order to achieve the demarche, and to choose the optimal strategy, it is necessary to evaluate the whole workflow from the economical aspect by comparing the costs and benefits of each possible strategy.

Logistical planning strategy

There is a need to frequently adjust the planning of forest management to new economical evidence as well as to unforeseeable developments. Such an adaptive management needs to balance ecological, social and economic factors. The final objective is to provide forest managers and decision makers with reliable information for the evaluation of technical and economical conditions for their decision-making on timber supply chain logistical planning and land use strategies.