Author ORCID Identifier



Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Division of Forestry and Natural Resources

Committee Chair

Jingxin Wang

Committee Member

Jamie Schuler

Committee Member

Mike Strager


Time motion studies were conducted at five mid-Atlantic sites that spanned various operations in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The harvest systems included integrated harvests where chips were produced in the forest, roundwood systems where only roundwood was produced, and a centralized chipping system. The study collected overall productivity and machine utilization data at the various harvesting operations. The cost per green ton of woody biomass ranged from $18.46 to $39.8 resulting in an average of $30.33 among the five systems. Hauling had the highest average price per green ton at $9.10, while loading had the lowest at $1.73 per green ton. The hauling process had the lowest productivity, with an average of 10.07 green tons per Productive Machine Hour (PMH), while chipping had the highest, with an average of 79.65 green tons per PMH. Skidders were the most utilized equipment, with an average utilization rate of 91 percent, while chipping had the lowest utilization rate, with an average of 59 percent. In the mid-Atlantic region, more information is needed regarding the producers and consumers of logging residue to help estimate the scope of the local bioeconomy. This study aims to survey the producers and consumers of biomass to gain insight into the logistics of the bioeconomy and the attitudes of those within the industry regarding the utilization of biomass. The survey has been divided into two segments, with one developed for producers of biomass (loggers and foresters, etc.) and one developed for consumers of biomass (mills, mulch producers, etc.) Consumers of biomass have been operating their businesses for an average of 17 years, have a weekly consumption rate of 690 tons, and procure biomass within a 43-mile range. Producers of biomass have been operating their businesses for an average of 20 years, have an average weekly production rate of 60 MBF, and are more likely to have crews dedicated to full-time biomass collection than part-time. Results of the study indicate that additional revenue from wood residues is the primary advantage for consumers and producers. Equipment cost was listed as the most significant disadvantage among consumers, while weak market demand was the most significant disadvantage among producers. The suitability of drones for monitoring forestry best management practices (BMPs) was investigated. Ground-based methods for assessing BMPs were used in addition to drone flights to collect data at recently harvested sites. The drone-collected data was processed through Pix4DMapper to generate orthomosaics and Digital Surface Models (DSMs), which were then analyzed using ArcGis Pro. The accuracy of the drone data was not affected by the type of harvest site. However, the residual trees and canopies found at uneven harvest sites can impede the ability to visualize ground features for assessment. The drone assessment primarily differed from the ground-based assessment regarding the maximum slope values due to the interference of tree canopies at uneven harvest sites. Landings and haul roads were found to have the highest implementation rates, while SMZs had the lowest among all sites and assessment types. The use of drones for assessing forestry BMPs not only allows for checks with compliance to state guidelines but also allows for modeling the effectiveness of BMPs opening a new pathway to further develop and refine guidelines.