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Table of Contents >> 3.2 Logging Aesthetics << 3.3 Aesthetics of Skid Trails, Truck Roads and Landings >> 3.4 Harvesting in High-Use Recreation Areas



Skid trails, permanent truck roads, and log landings create visually dramatic and permanent changes in a woodlot.

Without skid trails, truck roads, and landings, most management wouldn't be possible. Besides facilitating timber harvests, they can enhance landowner woodlot access, improve wildlife habitat, and provide a means for recreation and fire and pest control. They also can be the greatest expense of a timber harvest. Careful planning reduces costs and minimizes negative aesthetic impact. When built and used during the dry season, they hold up better, look neater, erode less, and are less expensive to construct and use. On some sites, using roads, trails, and landings on frozen ground may be preferable, especially for temporary winter use. Cutting and removing trees on the road right-of-way in advance of bulldozing results in better looking roads.

Landings are cleared areas where timber is brought from the woods, sorted, and stored until it is trucked to a market. Many times landings are located beside a public road. People often judge the quality of a timber harvest by the appearance of the landings, both during and after the harvest, without ever stepping into the woods. A clean, properly sized, well-organized landing will help improve productivity, provide a safer work environment, reduce cleanup costs, and draw positive attention from the public.

Economics and terrain may determine the location of skid trails, roads, and landings, but pre-planning, use of best management practices (BMPs), and good close-out techniques will minimize aesthetic impacts.


Plan, construct, use, and maintain skid trails, truck roads, and landings to minimize their visual impact.



Design and Planning

Construction and Use

When using on-site gravel (borrow) pits

During the Harvest

After the Harvest


2.2 Forest Structure; 3.1 Timber Harvesting Systems; 3.2 Logging Aesthetics; 3.4 Harvesting in High-Use Recreation Areas; 3.5 Soil Productivity; 4.1 Water Quality; 4.2 Wetlands; 4.3 Forest Management in Riparian Areas; 4.4 Stream Crossings and Habitat; 5.2 Invasive Plants; 5.4 Logging Damage; 6.2 Cavity Trees, Dens and Snag; 6.3 Dead and Down Woody Material; 6.5 Permanent Openings.


Carbee, H., and S. Smith. 2006. Forest Products Road Manual: A Handbook for Municipal Officials and Forest Products Industry. UNH Cooperative Extension, Durham, N.H. 15 p.

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 155-E. Local Regulation Excavations. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-XII-155-E.htm Accessed May 27, 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.

3.2 Logging Aesthetics << 3.3 Aesthetics of Skid Trails, Truck Roads and Landings >> 3.4 Harvesting in High-Use Recreation Areas

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