FRST 3073: Forest Harvesting

The field of forest harvesting addresses the technical, economic, and environmental factors associated with transportation and harvesting systems used in integrated forest resource management. These include: forest road location and design; slope stability and terrain assessment; forest road construction; planning, locating, and scheduling the harvest; and logging systems and their application to meet silviculture objectives.


Upon succesful completion of this course, students will have:

  • An understanding of appropriate harvesting systems for a range of silivicutlture systems and site conditions.
  • A sufficient understanding of the engineering, environmental, and economic implications of harvesting systems to communicate and work with specialists in forest harvesting.
  • The ability to understand, produce, and implement integrated resource mangement plans.
  • A clear understanding of their professional competence and limitations within Forest Harvesting.,

Course outline

  • Lesson 1: The History and Role of Harvesting in Forest Management
  • Lesson 2: Integrated Resource Management Plans (IRMP's)
  • Lesson 3: Road Design, Location, & Development Patterns
  • Lesson 4: Terrain Analysis & Slope Stability
  • Lesson 5: Road Construction, Maintenance, & Deactivation
  • Lesson 6: Road Drainage, Design, & Maintenance
  • Lesson 7: Harvesting Systems & Equipment
  • Lesson 8: Cable Mechanics
  • Lesson 9: Phases of Harvesting
  • Lesson 10: Harvesting Productivity
  • Lesson 11: Economics of Recovery
  • Lesson 12: Cost of Production
  • Lesson 13: Constraints & Techniques Used in Harvest Unit Design & Location
  • Lesson 14: Maximizing the Value of the Timber Harvested
  • Lesson 15: Professional Responsibilities

Required text and materials

The following textbook is required for this course:

Forest Engineering Technology Program. Introduction to forest harvesting methods. Vancouver, BC: BCIT, 1996.
Type: Textbook


  1. Winter, Dylan. Loggers: From Chainsaw to Sawmill in British Columbia. Brighton, ON: Diamond Farm Book Publishers, 2004.
    Type: DVD
  1. Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, Western Division. Harvest systems commonly used in British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: FERIC (now FPInnovations), 1997.
    Type: DVD

Additional requirements

Computer with Internet and a DVD player is required. Access to transportation as students are required to visit an active logging operation in their area.


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher in the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Exam.

Assignment 1 7.5%
Assignment 2 7.5%
Assignment 3 7.5%
Assignment 4 12.5%
Assignment 5 15%
Final Examination* 50%
Total Course 100%


Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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