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GUIDELINES for . . .
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Appendix 2. Tactical analysis and design


      In previous sections, biological, economic and forest-level information essential to the density management decision process was organized into a decision-making framework. Density management decisions incorporate forest management objectives, strategic analysis and tactical design decisions (i.e., evaluating and ranking stand-level treatment options).

General approach

      Supporting feasibility analyses question the suitability of a specific density management action in relation to management objectives and strategic needs. The following questions reflect the approach taken:

      • What tactical options are feasible given budget, manpower, access and other constraints?
      • Will required standards for the management unit be met?
      • Will the option generate acceptable economic returns?
      • What is the priority of the option relative to other feasible activities?

      To analyse stand density management tactics, the silviculturist must understand the management objectives for the forest estate, the characteristics of the resource, the forest policy constraints under which the estate is managed and the intended silviculture strategy. In the examples provided, these higher levels of the decision process are omitted in order to focus at the tactical level. Forest management objectives and strategies have been assumed for the sake of brevity. Nevertheless, their influence on decision making is noted.

      The analytical process underlying a tactical analysis is illustrated by means of pre-commercial thinning examples in stands of coastal hemlock and interior lodgepole pine.12 Operationally, density management solutions require detailed forest-level planning and thorough strategic analyses. The assumptions in these examples have been simplified to illustrate the decision process.

      The decision support model, TIPSY 2.1e, is used in these examples. Output includes conventional yield summaries, stand and stock tables, log and lumber data, mortality and snag summaries and economic information. The model is supported by the Ministry of Forests. Some limitations of TIPSY are of note:

      • TIPSY must initiate stand growth projections at age 0 since data from existing stands cannot be entered. However, establishment parameters can be manipulated to approximate an actual treated stand at a particular age. Other models accept stand data, but may have other limitations.
      • Only one pre-commercial thinning entry is possible and it occurs when stands are 4 m (interior) or 6 m (coast) tall. The time and frequency of treatment are more flexible in other models.

      12 Since the examples provided in this appendix were developed using TIPSY version 2.1e, we anticipate minor changes in some results, particularly for the pine example, as new versions of TIPSY are released.

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Copyright 1999 Province of British Columbia
Forest Practices Branch
BC Ministry of Forests
This page was last updated January 1999

Comments to: Tim Ebata <>