iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Qualitative evaluation and optimization of forest road network to minimize total costs and environmental impacts

E Hayati   , B Majnounian, E Abdi

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 121-125 (2012)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0610-009
Published: Jun 05, 2012 - Copyright © 2012 SISEF

Technical Reports

An efficient and low-cost transportation network is necessary for sustainable management. Roading and log skidding are the most expensive and destructive operations in forest environment, unless carefully planned and evaluated. A transportation network has to be assessed and optimized to minimize the total cost of road construction and its environmental impact. The aim of this study was determining the optimum forest road network density, and evaluating the quantity and quality of the existing forest road network. In order to determine the optimum forest road network density, skidding cost, road construction and maintenance costs, and harvesting volume in each compartment were considered. Then optimum skidding distance was calculated with regard to optimum road density and total correction factors. The relative openness and efficiency coefficient of the existing forest road network were determined for the calculated optimum skidding distance, using ArcGIS. The results showed that the optimum road density, relative openness and road network efficiency coefficient were 21.5 m ha-1, 90% and 32%, respectively. As a result, when the quality of a forest road network has to be evaluated, road network efficiency coefficient is more efficient than relative openness, that per se cannot be considered as an appropriate indicator.


Forest road network, Environmental impact, Qualitative evaluation, Optimum road density, Efficiency coefficient, GIS

Authors’ address

E Hayati
B Majnounian
E Abdi
Forestry and Forest Economics Department, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj (Iran)

Corresponding author



Hayati E, Majnounian B, Abdi E (2012). Qualitative evaluation and optimization of forest road network to minimize total costs and environmental impacts. iForest 5: 121-125. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0610-009

Academic Editor

Agostino Ferrara

Paper history

Received: Sep 23, 2011
Accepted: Mar 19, 2012

First online: Jun 05, 2012
Publication Date: Jun 29, 2012
Publication Time: 2.60 months

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