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Timber Harvest Allocation Model
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Abstract: HARVEST was designed as a strategic research and planning tool, allowing assessment of the spatial pattern consequences of broad timber management strategies. The model is well suited to evaluate alternative strategies, providing comparable predictions about how the alternatives affect the age (or successional stage) distribution and forest type composition of the forest, the spatial distribution of forest interior and edge habitats, and the patch structure of the resulting forest landscape. With HARVEST, the object is not to find a scheduling solution (i.e., determining the order in which individual stands should be harvested), but to assess the spatial pattern consequences of general management strategies. HARVEST has been shown to generate patterns similar to those produced by timber management (Gustafson and Crow 1999).

HARVEST may also be used to visually portray non-spatial outputs from harvest scheduling models such as SPECTRUM. Additionally, the spatial feasibility of the model solution can be evaluated when harvest activities are subject to constraints (such as adjacency) that are not addressed in the scheduling model.

The stochastic nature of HARVEST allows the user to replicate a management strategy many times to determine average spatial metrics with a confidence interval. The model also facilitates what-if experimentation to explore the spatial effects alternative management options.

HARVEST simulates harvest practices that reset the age of forested sites to a specific age. This includes even-aged timber harvest techniques (e.g., clearcutting, shelterwood, seed tree techniques) and uneven-aged group selection. Version 6.1 has some capability to simulate other uneven-aged techniques where such treatments predictably change stand structure, by using stand age as a surrogate for stand structure (i.e., stand development).

HARVEST allows the user to interactively simulate harvest activities that are targeted to forest type and Management Area. Management Areas are relatively large, multi-stand areas that are to be managed by specific objectives. The user specifies harvest parameters (such as harvest size, rotation age, green-up interval), for a Management Area and forest type. The process may be repeated for multiple Management Area/Forest Type combinations and time steps.

HARVEST v6.1 is similar to v6.0, but has several significant changes. Version 6.1 allows the user to specify any combination of two treatment effects when a harvest is implemented: 1) the age to which the treated cells are set and 2) whether the forest type will be converted upon cutting (e.g., planting). This is useful to simulate planting (or under-planting), or other silvicultural techniques that convert Forest Type and/or reset stand age. These combined effects can be used to simulate simple, deterministic succession or disturbances by converting the forest type of cells that are above a specified age without resetting the age. HARVEST 6.1 also can display the Forest Type and the Management Area maps at any time, and to save the Forest Type Map (since it now can change.) The menus of version 6.1 have also been re-designed.

HARVEST can conduct several analyses of the spatial pattern of the landscape both before and after simulated harvest. The patch structure (patches defined by stand age or forest type) can be analyzed for the entire mapped area or by individual Management Areas. The amount of forest interior and edge habitat can be calculated and displayed according to the definition of interior given by the user. Version 6.1 adds calculation of the fragmentation index GISfrag (Ripple et al. 1991). Analysis results of simulations can be saved spatially as GIS maps and in tabular form as a text file. An option to submit internal and saved maps to the landscape pattern analysis program APACK (Mladenoff and DeZonia 2004) is provided in version 6.1.

HARVEST was written in Fortran 95 using the Winteracter Windows libraries by Eric Gustafson and Luke Rasmussen.

[Summary provided by the USDA.]

Related URL
Description: Download HARVEST 6.1.

Description: Harvest - Version 6.1 - User Documentation.
Service Citation
Originators: USDA Forest Service
Title: Timber Harvest Allocation Model
Provider: USDA Forest Service
Edition: 6.1
ISO Topic Category
Access Constraints
There is optional registration for downloading the Timber Harvest Allocation Model.
Service Provider
North Central Research Station, Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture

Service Provider Personnel
Phone: 651-649-5031
Fax: 651-649-5285
Contact Address:
USDA Forest Service
North Central Research Station
1992 Folwell Ave.
City: St. Paul
Province or State: MN
Postal Code: 55108
Country: USA
Distribution Media
Distribution_Media: Online
Fees: No fees
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA

Phone: (406) 994-2771
Fax: (406) 994-2490
Email: dlg at
Contact Address:
Department of Biology
Montana State University
City: Bozeman
Province or State: MT
Postal Code: 59717-0346
Country: USA
Gustafson, E. J. 1996. Expanding the scale of forest management: allocating timber harvests in time and space. Forest Ecology and Management 87:27-39.

Gustafson, E.J. 1998. Clustering timber harvests and the effect of dynamic forest management policy on forest fragmentation. Ecosystems 1:484-492.

Gustafson, E.J. 2001. Simulating changes in landscape pattern. Pages 49-61 in Learning Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques, S. Gergel and M.G. Turner, (eds). Springer-Verlag, New York.

Gustafson, E.J. and T. R. Crow. 1999. HARVEST: linking timber harvest strategies to landscape patterns. In Spatial modeling of forest landscapes: approaches and applications, Mladenoff, D.J., Baker, W.L. (Eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 309-332.

Gustafson, E.J. and T.R. Crow. 1994. Modeling the effects of forest harvesting on landscape structure and the spatial distribution of cowbird brood parasitism. Landscape Ecology 9:237-248.

Gustafson, E.J. and T.R. Crow. 1996. Simulating the effects of alternative forest management strategies on landscape structure. Journal of Environmental Management 46:77-94.

Gustafson, E.J. and T.R. Crow. 1998. Simulating spatial and temporal context of forest management using hypothetical landscapes. Environmental Management 22:777-787.

Gustafson, E.J. and L.V. Rasmussen. 2002. Assessing the spatial implications of interactions among strategic forest management options using a Windows-based harvest simulator. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 33:179-196.

Gustafson, E. J., L.J. Roberts, and L.A. Leefers. In review. Linking linear programming and spatial simulation models to predict landscape effects of forest management alternatives. Journal of Environmental Management.

Gustafson, E. J., D.E. Lytle, R. Swaty and C. Loehle. In reviewB. Simulating the cumulative effects of the forest management strategies of multiple landowners on landscape pattern and biodiversity.

Gustafson , E. J. and C. Loehle. In prep. Effects on landscape pattern of parcelization and land divestiture in an industrial forest landscape.

Leefers, L.A., L J. Roberts and E.J. Gustafson. 2005. Spatial sensitivity analysis: an application of HARVEST to a Spectrum alternative. In: Bevers, Michael; Barrett, Tara M., comps. Systems Analysis in Forest Resources: Proceedings of the 2003 Symposium; October 7-9, Stevenson, WA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-000. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Mladenoff, D.J. and B. DeZonia. 2004. APACK 2.23 analysis software: User's guide. Published on Internet server

Ripple, W.J., G.A. Bradshaw, and T.A. Spies. 1991. Measuring landscape pattern in the Cascade Range of Oregon, USA. Biological Conservation 57:73-88.

Zollner, P. A., Gustafson, E. J., He, H. S., Radeloff, V.C., Mladenoff, D. J. 2005. Modeling the Influence of Dynamic Zoning of Forest Harvesting on a Northern Wisconsin Landscape. Environmental Management 35:410-425.
Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 2008-01-24
SERF Last Revision Date: 2012-08-16
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