- The Northwest timber industry is in a transition to a smallwood harvest environment. As the Northwest moves to smaller average diameter stands log values have decreased and harvest costs have increased. In an effort to increase profitability, Northwest loggers are beginning to "mechanize". The profitable operation of a mechanized harvest system is sensitive to changing market and stand variables. Because of this there is an increased need for strategic planning by land and business managers. Computers are an efficient tool for performing the repetitive and often tedious calculations involved in harvest system analysis. Computers also enable analysts to perform sensitivity analysis and answer "What if" questions. This report identifies the existing personal computer-based software capable of performing as an analysis tool for Northwest timber harvest operations. It evaluates each by comparing them to a specific set of evaluation criteria after running each using four example harvest systems. The three harvest operation analysis programs evaluated by this paper are : LOGSIM (Wiese 1987), The Harvest System Analyzer, HSA (Hendricks et.al. 1986), and The Auburn Harvesting Analyzer, AHA (Tufts et.al. 1985). The following conclusions were drawn upon competition of the analysis. All three programs can be used to model harvest operations in the Pacific Northwest, yet.none will meet the needs of planners at all levels. HSA and AHA make assumptions that do not accurately reflect harvest methods used in the Pacific Northwest, therefor L.OGSIM is
the only program that can be recommended for modeling Pacific Northwest harvest systems.
L.OGSIM's use is limited by its sophistication, long solution times, and limited sources for detailed input data, particularly production data for mechanized harvesting equipment. For this
reason more production data needs to be collected and the currently available data centralized.
Finally after making the above observations it must be concluded that, the application of computer-based harvest system analysis in the Pacific Northwest, has not progressed to a point where it
is available for use other than by skilled analysts.