Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Krag, R. 1998. Productivities, costs, and site and stand impacts of helicopter-loggin in clearcuts, patch cuts, and single-tree selection cuts: Rennell Sound trials. In: Hogan, D.L., P.J. Tschaplinski, and S. Chatwin (Editors). B.C. Min. For., Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. No. 41.
Organization FLNRO
URL https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/docs/Lmh/Lmh41.htm
Abstract/Description or Keywords In 1992, a helicopter-logging trial was conducted
in Rennell Sound on the Queen Charlotte Islands
under the auspices of the Fish/Forestry Interaction
Program. The purpose of the trial was to test the
concept of using helicopters to selectively harvest
timber from steep, potentially unstable hillslopes
where the likelihood of logging-induced landslides
precluded conventional cable-yarding and
clearcutting. The Forest Engineering Research
Institute of Canada (FERIC) monitored the trial to
evaluate the operational feasibility of this concept.
(Partial funding for FERIC’s studies was provided
by the Fish/Forestry Interaction Program and the
South Moresby Forest Replacement Account.) This
paper describes the trial and presents preliminary
results on yarding productivities, post-logging stand
and site conditions, and costs of the helicopterlogging
In 1979, the federal Department of Fisheries and
Oceans and the British Columbia Ministry of
Forests and Ministry of Environment established the
Fish/Forestry Interaction Program (FFIP), a multidisciplinary
research program with the goal of
identifying ways to manage and harvest mountain
forests while maintaining stream integrity and fish
habitat on the Queen Charlotte Islands. The program
was initiated in response to concerns that the
road-building and logging practices of the day were
increasing the frequency and magnitude of landslides
on steep slopes, resulting in loss of productive
forest land and damage to salmon habitat. One of
FFIP’s stated objectives was “to investigate the
feasibility and success of using alternative logging
methods to reduce traditional environmental
problems associated with logging. These methods
include skyline and helicopter use, and improved
planning of logging roads and logging layout in
sensitive areas” (Poulin 1984).
In 1980, at the request of FFIP personnel, FERIC
initiated a series of studies to address this objective.
During the next 5 years, FERIC examined the causes
of landslides in logged areas (Krag et al. 1986),
studied conventional and alternative cable-yarding
operations on steep slopes (Sauder and Wellburn
1987), and developed and compared alternative
logging plans for two typical sensitive sites (Sauder
and Wellburn 1989). These studies showed that on
many logged sites the risk of landslides could be
reduced through the use of improved planning and
road-building practices and the innovative use of a
variety of cable-yarding methods, including
conventional as well as skyline systems.
On more sensitive sites, however, the risk of landslides
precluded the use of conventional harvesting
and silvicultural systems. The program therefore also
examined the potential of using helicopters in combination
with partial-cutting silvicultural systems to
harvest such sites. Between 1986 and 1989, Husby
Forest Products Ltd. and Canadian Air-Crane Ltd.
successfully demonstrated the concept on gentle
terrain in the Naden Harbour area by using a heavylift
helicopter to selectively harvest timber in sensitive
riparian areas (Moore 1991). As a result, part of
FFIP’s second 5-year research plan included a
proposed operational trial to extend the concept
onto steep slopes. FERIC monitored the trial, which
took place between June and November of 1992 on
two sites in Rennell Sound, to assess the operation’ s
performance and feasibility.
Information Type Article
Regional Watershed Coast Region
Sub-watershed if known
Aquifer #
Project status complete
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