Forest Roads Planning Under Environmental Restraints

Marcelo Rojas Redlich


The present work incorporates environmental restrictions in the planning of the forest roads with the objective of carrying out these operations in an efficient way, without harming the "sustentation of the ecosystem". However, it is convenient to point out that the degree of vulnerability of the environmental components is analyzed; only keeping in mind two aspects that are the terrain sensibility and the potential impact of the hydrological network. For such effects, the chosen area is the property Voipir of the Forest Company Voipir, located in the IX Region, county of Villarrica. The approximate surface of the property is of 3218 hectares.

The potential degradation sensibility of the forest land is estimated by the method proposed by Gayoso and Acuña (1999) which classifies the sensibility in one out of five levels: very low, low, moderate, high and very high, derived upon the parameter as density, depth, slope and humidity of the soil.

The methodology used to estimate the potential impact on the hydrological network belongs to the Forest Service of the United States (USDA), which proposes a series of comparative indicators. The indicators used in this work are "Stream channel proximity" and "Predicted stream crossings". In both methodologies, the results were obtained starting from the development of a Geographical Information System (GIS).

Once the terrain sensibility was determined and the areas to protect were defined, a proposal road network using the step method, which includes the entire property and an alternative to this proposal, in the sectors that at the moment have plantations.

The proposed road network was evaluated environmental and economically. In environmental form, according to the longitude of roads in areas of different sensibility and economically regarding the cost of mass haul. The mass haul was calculated by the software ROADENG.

It was concluded that the planning of forest roads under environmental restrictions prevents the potential problems subject to its localization, construction and maintenance, in relation to the impacts on the terrain and the hydrological network.


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