Saturday, September 12, 2015

Timber Production Planning

by Anton Antonio
September 13, 2015

Planning is an integral part of upland resources management.  Basic management principles apply but natural resources, not like assembly plant products, need more diligence because of the possible impacts it may have on the environment.  Timber production planning therefore becomes very critical.  Please consider the following elements in timber production planning:
  1. Objectives – The product mix must be identified and defined.  Timber products are raw logs, sawtimber, poles and piles, wood chips or pulp wood.  The specific market for these must be assured prior to production to ensure minimum or zero waste.
  2. Site Selection – Identifying the exact location of the timber production activity is essential especially in mapping infrastructure access points to the production area.
  3. Characterization – The current state of the production site must be ascertained to identify the exact production strategy that would apply to the area without compromising forest biodiversity.
  4. Site Suitability – A land suitability analysis must also be conducted to determine and classify the type of land in the targeted production area.
  5. Site Delineation – Site delineation is the process of indicating on a map actual ground surveys on important information such as timber density, road mapping, log deck, etc.
  6. Species Selection – There are endemic tree species to a specific area.  These have to be identified and indicated in a map.  This is a management tool to assist planners in crafting the planting schedule.
  7. Crop Zoning – Crop zoning is another management tool to help planners determine where various species will be planted if there are more than one tree species that is suitable to the entire area.  These area are also called delineation zones.
  8. Plantation Development Scheduling – Plantation development scheduling can be likened to a Gantt chart where the planting schedule is indicated on a time-bound basis.
  9. Resource Requirement Determination – Basically financial in nature although resource requirement could also come in the form of materials, manpower, infrastructure, machinery and equipment, etc.
  10. Benefits and Impacts – Very important to the timber production planning is the identification and/or determination of the benefits and impacts.  This can be likened to a cost-benefit analysis.
  11. Operations Research Tools and Other Planning Tools – Examples of such tools are Program Evaluation and Review Technique-Critical Path Method (PERT-CPM), SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, Gnatt chart, cash flow chart, etc. which are equally important management tools to determine the viability of a timber production project.

The elements of project planning mentioned above are essential to a more structure approach to comprehensive planning… particularly timber production planning.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Villanueva, T. R., (2002). “Upland Ecosystem Management”. University of the Philippines Open University, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines

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