Woodcache PBC

Sustainable Wood Procurement: What the Literature Tells Us

Amanda H. Lang, Brooks C. Mendell
Journal of Forestry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
Year Published: 2012

Key Takeaways:

  • The cost of forest fuel reduction treatments ranged from $620/acre to $1,627/acre.
  • Using a cut-to-length logging system to harvest biomass in Arizona produced costs that were nearly 11 times those for sawlog harvests.
  • Integrating biomass harvesting with logging operations led to costs that were 35% lower per tonne of woody biomass.
Sustainable Wood Production: What the Literature Tells Us
This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Is Forest Fuel Reduction a Sustainable Source of Biomass?


Wood procurement teams in the forest products industry must simultaneously meet the raw material cost, quality, and volume requirements of their firms while accounting for long-term raw material sustainability and satisfying environmental performance standards. This study synthesizes 208 published studies on forest operations efficiency and environmental improvements to (1) specify applicable forest operations costs and environmental savings, (2) highlight areas of synergy between operational efficiency gains/cost savings and environmental improvements, and (3) identify critical gaps in the existing literature to help prioritize future research. This research synthesis highlights several areas of operational and environmental synergies related to forest harvesting, log transportation, and the storage of wood raw materials. In comparing research across topics and US regions, this study specified “practical” and “relevance” tests for identifying key research gaps. Areas identified for additional research were specific questions related to biomass harvesting and trucking logistics.