Do we need forest stands anymore?
In Finland, detailed data on all privately owned forests is freely available, but is it utilised to it's full potential? We believe not, as forest planning is still based on the concept of a static forest stand, which is supposed to contain only certain type of forest.
The freely available data, a 16 x 16 m grid produced using Aerial Laser Scanning and covering the whole of Finland, provides a much more detailed description of the forest than the traditional stands. We know that forest properties vary within large stands, so why not take advantage of this information?
Our team has developed a dynamic forest planning model, which creates dynamic harvest units from the grid data, taking into account the fine grained variation in forest properties. The model optimizes the dynamic harvest units and takes into account the forest owner's preferences, such as economic profits and long term sustainability.
This model has a lot of great applications, for both small-scale private forestry, as well as large industrial forest owners. One such application is a dynamically updated forest management plan for private forest owners. Large industrial timber buyers want to minimize their harvesting costs, which tends to lead to large harvest units. Private forest owners usually prefer smaller harvest units, so there is clearly a conflict of interests between the buyer and the seller. Using our new model it's possible to find the optimal harvest units, which satisfy both the forest owner and the timber buyer.
We're currently piloting the solution with selected clients.
Simosol CTO, Dr. Antti Mäkinen presented a new dynamic forest planning model in IUFRO's 125th anniversary conference in Freiburg, Germany, on September 18th, 2017.