Location

Logan, UT

Event Website

http://restoringthewest.org/

Streaming Media

Abstract

Improvements in harvesting technologies, economic incentives, and the potential to control fire behavior have all led to an increased interest in harvesting woody biomass in Utah and other western states. Elevation, climate, and substrate are hugely variable in the west resulting in differing forest types, potential productivity, and large variations of possible biomass yield. Studies to determine biomass harvesting efficacy often include estimates of current growing stock by forest type, which helps answer questions regarding utilization potential and possible yield. However, projections of biomass yield, and the potential influence of active management on increasing yields, is rarely evaluated. Using Forest Inventory and Analysis data collected in Utah between 2000 and 2009, we compared potential biomass yield of managed and unmanaged stands for the major forest types in Utah. We used the Forest Vegetation Simulator to make 100 year projections of standing biomass by forest type and potential productivity classes. Results showed that management resulted in increased growth of residual stands which translated into modest increases in total standing biomass over time. Increased residual growth as a result of management was more pronounced in productive forest types (e.g., spruce-fir or aspen) than less productive forest types (e.g., common pinyon or Utah juniper). Within forest type, sites with higher potential productivity had higher biomass yield projections than sites with lower potential productivity. However, the absolute differences in yield between potential productivity classes among forest types decreased with decreasing forest type productivity. These results have strong management implications for production of woody biomass, especially for operations where multiple entries are planned.

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Oct 19th, 12:00 AM

Exploring the Biomass Accumulation Possibilities from Active Forest Management in Utah Forest Types

Logan, UT

Improvements in harvesting technologies, economic incentives, and the potential to control fire behavior have all led to an increased interest in harvesting woody biomass in Utah and other western states. Elevation, climate, and substrate are hugely variable in the west resulting in differing forest types, potential productivity, and large variations of possible biomass yield. Studies to determine biomass harvesting efficacy often include estimates of current growing stock by forest type, which helps answer questions regarding utilization potential and possible yield. However, projections of biomass yield, and the potential influence of active management on increasing yields, is rarely evaluated. Using Forest Inventory and Analysis data collected in Utah between 2000 and 2009, we compared potential biomass yield of managed and unmanaged stands for the major forest types in Utah. We used the Forest Vegetation Simulator to make 100 year projections of standing biomass by forest type and potential productivity classes. Results showed that management resulted in increased growth of residual stands which translated into modest increases in total standing biomass over time. Increased residual growth as a result of management was more pronounced in productive forest types (e.g., spruce-fir or aspen) than less productive forest types (e.g., common pinyon or Utah juniper). Within forest type, sites with higher potential productivity had higher biomass yield projections than sites with lower potential productivity. However, the absolute differences in yield between potential productivity classes among forest types decreased with decreasing forest type productivity. These results have strong management implications for production of woody biomass, especially for operations where multiple entries are planned.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2011/Breakout6/1