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22-24 September 2020, Forest Operations for the Future Conference, Helsingør

The Forest Operations for the Future Conference was held in Helsingør from September 22-24, 2020. Organised by the Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management from the University of Copenhagen, the Nordic-Baltic forestry sector addressed future research and innovation needs within forest operations.

Several partners from TECH4EFFECT (T4E) presented at the online event which was held virtually due to the Corona virus pandemic. The topic examined how forest operations could address the long-term needs of the future wood market.

Specifically, the Conference addressed topics such as the traceability of sustainably certified wood, the possibility of demand shocks, cost pressures, and the unpredictability of extreme climate changes which have affected forest operations.

TECH4EFFECT partners from the Division of Forest and Forest Resources at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Rasmus Astrup, Bruce Talbot and Joachim Bernd Heppelmann presented topics relating to the long-term sustainability of forest operations through increased environmental impact assessments.

The three authors contributed to the topic of “Assessing the relationship between Depth-to-Water (DTW) mapping and rut formation following fully mechanised harvesting operations in Norway”. The subject of DTW maps has been covered on the T4E news feed in a three-part blog series that explain other T4E results. Separately, Bruce Talbot presented “Continuous surface assessments of wheel rutting compared to discrete point measurements — do the benefits justify the efforts?”.

Also on the topic of site reduction, Thomas Holzfeind from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna presented “Predicting forest roads’ bearing capacity using smart sensing technology”.

Holzfeind examined the sensitivity of unpaved forest roads after heavy thaw and rain where roads are subjected to excessive strain due to water penetrating the construction layers which reduce the road’s load bearing capacity. Effective forest management encompasses assessing the trafficability and overall accessibility of machines to and in the forest which can be restricted due to excess water.

The aim of the study was to develop an appropriate sensing approach in the field to determine the modelling parameters needed for this work, and to come up with a smart prediction model for forest roads’ bearing capacity. This should contribute both to improved planning and management of forest operations to avoid costly and unnecessary damage to roads due to a weakened road infrastructure caused by water.