Forest Management Research Laboratory

The Forest Management Research Laboratory (FMRL) focuses on developing decision support systems to design economically efficient and environmentally sound forest management and forest operations practices. 

Major research areas include:

  • Developing heuristic optimization techniques to solve forest planning, harvest scheduling, and forest transportation problems.
  • Developing computerized tools to address spatially explicit natural resources problems, more specifically optimal allocation of: dedicated bioenergy plantations for energy production, fuel treatments to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfires, and vegetation treatment to reduce invasive species spread.
  • Evaluating the use of LiDAR-derived vegetation information in the quantification of forest resources.
  • Evaluating the use of LiDAR-derived terrain information in forest operations planning (location of spur-roads, skid-trails, and log-landings).

Research conducted by the FMRL combines techniques related to operations research and heuristic optimization, geographic information systems, remote sensing, simulation and modeling, and information technology to develop computerized tools to help forest managers make informed decisions to ensure the sustainable use of forest and natural resources management.