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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Multi-criteria timber allocation models for the analysis of sustainable forest management decisions Marinescu, Marian V.

Abstract

The problem addressed in this dissertation is that of optimally allocating timber to different processing facilities, while meeting the multi-criteria conditions of sustainable forest management and integrating the medium-term and operational decisions. A Multi-criteria Timber Allocation Model using goal programming was developed to include various criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. The allocation procedure was demonstrated using five allocation criteria: profit, employment, wildlife, recreation, and visual. In a case analysis, two multi-criteria allocation scenarios, generated with different sets of goal weights, were compared against a profit-based scenario. The results demonstrated the capability of the Multi-criteria Timber Allocation Model to deal with sustainability criteria in a practical and flexible manner. A DEA Timber Allocation Model was developed using Data Envelopment Analysis, a method of calculating technical efficiencies of different operations. The model was demonstrated using two allocation criteria: profit and employment. The allocation results were compared to those of random, profit-based, and employment-based allocations and suggested that the model balanced the two allocation criteria without the need for their prioritization. However, adding other allocation criteria was complicated by procedural concerns. A two-level Hierarchical Timber Allocation Model was developed to integrate the medium-term and operational decisions, while accounting for the sustainability criteria. At the medium-term level, the Multi-criteria Timber Allocation Model was implemented to optimally allocate stewardship units to different forest products companies. At the operational level, the FTP Analyzer®, a sawmilling optimization model, was implemented for each company to optimally process the allocated timber. An iterative algorithm was developed and demonstrated, in which the two planning levels reached mutually beneficial solutions. The model was demonstrated with an array of policy questions and revealed potential effects on both manufacturing processes and sustainability criteria. Future research was recommended to allow other criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management to be included in the DEA Timber Allocation Model. The Hierarchical Timber Allocation Model could also benefit from the addition of a strategic planning level, which could address the long-term, forest ecosystem management decisions and provide the medium-term level with available harvesting areas.

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