Timber Assessment and Management


Environmental Services, Inc. (ESI) staff has performed timber assessments throughout the United States for private, industrial, and government landowners. Timber assessment, or timber cruising, is intended to provide a statistically-valid estimation of the ecological composition, wood volume, or merchantable value of a specific forest parcel.

The design of the timber cruise typically involves the selection of the most appropriate data collection system, the stratification of the forest based on common characteristics, and the systematic location of samples (usually plots) within each strata at a sufficient density to provide useful data. Depending on the objective of the cruise, data collection may include the collection of a wide variety of parameters using appropriate equipment or techniques. Data analysis may involve the use of commercially-available software to define existing conditions, as well as predict future conditions (growth and yield).

ESI client projects have used plots to estimate timber values for private landowners and industrial timber management firms, to assess ecological condition relative to habitat requirements and permit conditions, and to determine mitigation for clearing of protected trees. These assessments are typically budgeted on a per-plot basis. Depending on field conditions, plot type, and data to be collected, approximately 25-40 plots can be completed in a day. Small projects may be budgeted on a flat fee basis, to cover fixed costs.

Timber Assessments include:

• Timber Management Planning
• Coordination of Reforestation
• Stand Mapping and Timber Cruising/Assessments
• Hurricane Timber Damage Assessments
• Boundary and Tree Marking
• Timber Sale Coordination and Oversight

Representative Projects:

2004 Hurricane Timber Damage Assessment

*ESI does not provide engineering or land surveying services in North Carolina and such services in North Carolina are contracted to appropriately licensed individuals and firms.

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