Chapter 4: Planning of Forest Roads and Harvesting System

Road construction during and after timber harvesting is the main contributor impacts to the environment.  The planning of roads and harvesting systems are to ensure that:

  • Roads are constructed in an orderly manner and in accordance with the road standard.
  • The density of roads and skid trails are sufficiently constructed to minimize impacts on the environment.
  • Optimal access to the forest areas for timber harvesting and to suit the harvesting system.
  • Safety during the timber harvesting, timber trucking, and other general road uses.

Logging roads to be planned and constructed by the FMU can be classified into 3 categories as follows:-

  • Main roads traverse the whole extent of the FMU and connect to public road system or log pond. Main roads built should be gravel-surfaced and designed for usage by heavy logging trucks during the entire duration of the license of the FMU. 
  • Secondary roads are branches of the main roads that will provide access to the forest areas to be harvested.  They should preferably be gravel-surfaced roads and designed for heavy logging trucks at moderate speed. 
  • Feeder roads are short roads accessing the harvesting blocks to reduce skidding distances.  They shall be used for a few months only and need not be all weather roads.  They should be designed for the same type of trucks to be used on secondary and main roads.

Planning

  • The construction and maintenance of roads, drainage structures and bridges in accordance with the Guidelines for Forest Road Layout.
  • Planning procedure to follow strictly the approved General Harvesting Plan (GP) and Detailed Harvesting Plan (DP) for long-term economic benefit of the FMU.

Harvesting System

  • Demarcation of all boundaries such as licence, FMU, coupe, block, area for protection and conservation to be carried out before pre- felling inspection.
  • Tree tagging of 100% enumeration for harvestable trees, protected trees, potential crop trees, mother trees, seed fruit trees and nesting trees respectively to be done.
  • The Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) practice would involve pre-harvesting, harvesting and post harvesting planning and related activities. 
  • The monitoring and control of pre-harvesting, harvesting and post harvesting within the FMU is executed by Forestry Agencies.