Timber is a valuable asset and the forests from where it is harvested are even more valuable. For this reason, there are industry standards to ensure forests are managed properly so that they remain a source of timber for years to come. In light of this, there are several measures expected to be undertaken by the foresters, producers and companies to ensure proper forest management and sustainability. A harvesting audit is undertaken to examine pre, active and post harvesting activities in which all aspects of harvesting operations, (road construction, silviculture plans, tree planting, fire protection activities and everything else) are examined.
How a Harvesting Audit Works
A harvesting audit is carried out in three steps.
Landowners, foresters, and loggers are all responsible for ensuring that logging activities do not harm the environment in any way. A harvesting auditor will look at the following main issues while ensuring that pre-harvest procedures are following proper compliance procedures.
1. A review of the written forest management and stewardship plan from the forester or landowner. Here, all available information about the forest including inventory and type of timber is evaluated.
2. Review of the topographic map of the site to study important features like streams, existing roads, property boundaries, and proposed road access for harvest.
3. Review of the soil survey and aerial photos to identify sensitive, wet areas.
4. If applicable, Verification of proper permits for harvesting and moving timber.
Active Harvest Procedures
During the actual harvest operation, a harvesting audit evaluates the harvesting practices to make sure they are consistent with the management plans. The overall goal is to ensure that operations match the management plan. The auditor will verify the following:
1. Timber Harvests are being implemented as planned. Natural drainage patterns are maintained.
2. Natural drainage patterns are maintained and equipment free zones are established on streams.
3. Best management practices are being followed to maintain environmental quality.
4. Review areas of concern that can cause soil erosion such as roads, landings, skidding, stream crossings, stream sides, hazardous materials and adverse weather are accounted for in the harvest plan.
After the harvest is completed, a harvesting auditor will verify that all operations have been implemented in accordance with the forest management plan and applicable rules or regulations. The auditor will go through the following list:
1. Verify the tract is closed in accordance with company and/or state policies. This includes installation of water bars, re-seeding decks and roads, and maintaining fire breaks.
2. Verify the roads constructed specifically for harvest operations are deactivated as soon as possible after harvesting is completed.
3. Review silviculture activities to ensure that planting, site preparation, chemical treatments, selection of appropriate species and all treatments are carried out as planned.
4. Verify that no debris is left in roads, fields, or streams. Review traffic barriers and patrolling after the harvesting is completed in order to prevent site access to thieves and vandals.
How Can We Help?
With years of experience in conducting comprehensive harvesting audits that evaluate pre, active and post-harvest procedures, Dendro Resource Management Inc. is able to provide top-notch service to all its clients throughout the United States.If you are on the lookout for a reputed, reliable, and experienced forestry audit company, get in touch with us today and one of our experts will be there to assist you!