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Table of Contents >> 3.1 Timber Harvesting Systems << 3.2 Logging Aesthetics >> 3.3 Aesthetics of Skid Trails, Truck Roads and Landings



Timber harvesting creates a temporary change in the visual quality of the forest.

By creating a variety of tree sizes and types and different opening sizes, harvesting can have a long-term positive aesthetic effect. Some short-term aesthetic concerns include woody debris (slash) on the ground, broken or bent trees, ruts, clearcuts, or a general change in the appearance of the forest. Improving the appearance of a harvest may result in trade-offs with wildlife-related recommendations, resulting in fewer habitat elements, e.g., coarse woody material on the ground or standing snags (dead and dying trees). A forest that looks "neat" may not be ecologically healthy.

In many cases, doing a lot of little things can collectively make a big difference. For example, changing the timing of forest management activities can impact how a job looks and affect recreation on a woodlot. Roads built during dry seasons are cheaper to construct and look nicer. Operating on frozen ground that has good snow cover results in less damage to the soil, ground cover, seedlings, and the residual trees, which often translates into a better-looking job. Many outdoor recreational activities take place during specific seasons of the year. Harvesting activities scheduled to avoid peak use will help to minimize potential conflicts.

Planning and adherence to some basic recommendations will balance the aesthetic outcome with achieving the long and short-term objectives of the landowner.


Minimize the visual impacts of timber harvesting.




2.2 Forest Structure; 3.1 Timber Harvesting Systems; 3.3 Aesthetics of Skid Trails, Truck Roads and Landings; 3.4 Harvesting in High-Use Recreation Areas; 3.5 Soil Productivity; 5.4 Logging Damage; 6.2 Cavity Trees, Dens and Snag; 6.3 Dead and Down Woody Material.


Jones, G. T. 1993. A Guide to Logging Aesthetics: Practical Tips for Loggers, Foresters, and Landowners. Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. NRAES-60. NRAES Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, N.Y. 28 p.

N.H. Dept. of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Forests and Lands. 2004. Best Management Practices for Erosion Control on Timber Harvesting Operations in New Hampshire. State of New Hampshire. http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000247_Rep266.pdf Accessed March 13, 2010.

RSA 227-J. Timber Harvesting. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xix-a/227-j/227-j-mrg.htm Accessed May 27, 2010.

Smith, S. 2009. Guide to New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Laws. UNH Cooperative Extension, Durham, N.H. 37 p.

3.1 Timber Harvesting Systems << 3.2 Logging Aesthetics >> 3.3 Aesthetics of Skid Trails, Truck Roads and Landings

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