Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Supply Chain Management of Timber and Biomass from Mountain Pine Beetle Infested Forests Public Deposited

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  • Mountain pine beetle infested forests in the Rocky Mountain region raise complicated economic, environmental, and social impacts and pose severe forest management challenges to land managers and public and private landowners. Harvesting infested forest stands provides an opportunity to utilize otherwise wasted resources, mitigate economics losses to landowners, and generate greenhouse gas emission savings to combat climate change. Due to high operation costs and low product values, sound supply chain planning is of critical importance to the success of forest salvage utilization. However, knowledge gaps and operational uncertainties obscure the understanding of timber salvage harvest and performances of forest supply chains. In addition, lack of analytical methods and tools impedes forest operation analysis. This dissertation attempts to apply operations research to analyze post-outbreak forest salvage utilization to assist decision makers with improving the management of timber and biomass supply chain. We adopted discrete-event simulation to study salvage harvest operations to overcome analytical challenges confronted by conventional time study approach. We used multi-objective optimization to investigate trade-offs between net revenues and greenhouse gas emission savings in forest salvage utilization and compared different management scenarios. We also developed a multi-objective metaheuristic to solve large multi-objective combinatorial optimization problems for forest supply chain management. We believe our work can provide a set of useful analytical tools for the management of beetle kill forests and post-outbreak forest salvage utilization. We also hope our work offers novel approaches to solving various challenging forest management problems for future researchers and practitioners.
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