In its specialised form, Forest Estate Modelling is a top-down approach to exploring management strategies for forest resources. Its fundamental concepts can be conveyed as follows:
An irregular woodflow profile may prove inconvenient for a variety of purposes – harvesting, marketing, financial, and logistical. Despite this, the age-class distribution of most planted forest estates is irregular, for a combination of credible reasons. The process of identifying managed woodflows proves a recurrent requirement.
A simple model, such as the example illustrated, may not, at first look daunting. If extended to include hundreds or thousands of similar age-class/yield table combinations, the computational demands become substantial. Spreadsheet-based models are no longer a viable option and hence their replacement with specialised software. Most purpose-built programs now employ a linear programming formulation. This enables the derivation of solutions that are not only feasible but optimise an objective function under credible constraints.
Considerable additional functionality is added to the core processes of the forest estate model.
This may include:
- Connection to a spatial representation of the resource
- The log type assortments into which the total recoverable yield can be divided
- Extending the modelled parameters from physical yields to financial parameters such as unit revenues, production costs or growing costs
- Furthering the extension to other parameters such as those involving carbon sequestration, water flow and social impact
- Identifying market destinations for the product types and the delivered prices that these offer
- A representation of the transport network, and the costs of delivery from different parts of the estate to the alternative markets
- Acknowledgement of market absorption characteristics
- Incorporating logistical constraints such as transport routes, harvest system capacities, and nursery supply.
Indufor is acutely aware of the importance of forest estate modelling within forest management, and staff members involved in valuation and forest resource consulting are proficient with the software.
Some examples of forest estate model applications include:
- All valuations produced by the IAP/IAPA offices employ a forest estate model as the underpinning framework
- Forest estate models provide the preferred framework for coordinating the scrutiny of resources within due diligence
- Regional woodflow modelling
- Mill supply planning.