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Review of planning and evaluation models as a basis for the simulation of a forest firm Birchmore, Michael John

Abstract

Forest planning is characterised by the necessity to satisfy a series of long term objectives and yet still to meet a series of short term objectives. This problem of conflicts is particularly pertinent to the Province of British Columbia where the forest ownership and the forest operator are each, primarily concerned with different time spectra. Further, the demands that are being made on the forest resource are becoming ever more stringent and demanding as the political and environmental awareness of the public increases. The need to consider multiple objectives in the planning process causes the inadequacies of many of the earlier models to be highlighted. A new series of models for forest planning is called for. The development of operations research, techniques and improved computers has facilitated the introduction of a new series of planning models. Many models have been developed using the optimising techniques of linear and dynamic programming for example, but the technique that, through its flexibility and latitude for variation in the basic assumptions, holds the most promise is simulation. Under the conditions of British Columbia, the forest firm, which is the main influence on the forest resource and links the natural environment with the socio-economic environment, is the natural planning unit. The firm is constrained by the superior environments and it is the responses of the firm to changes in either that affects the flow of goods and services from the forest. An analysis of the firm shows that if a systems approach is adopted the planning and productive stages of the firm may be defined in a suitable manner for the construction of a computer simulation model. The model may have several stages of operational development and may be used for different purposes as it is developed towards full operational use. The ultimate stage of development will only be known when the detailed construction of the model is undertaken. This thesis outlines the need for the model and develops it to a pre-construction stage. The major steps and processes that must be described for construction of the model to the first development stage are outlined. The first development stage is that of a forest management game. The sources of the data and the initial limitations of the model and the output are given and the subsequent development stages described.

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