An increase in the use of operations research techniques for forest-level planning, as expressed by publication of papers in peer-reviewed North American forestry journals, is illustrated by the number of papers published that describe a mathematical problem formulation, or model used, and demonstrates an application of the planning process. A shift in planning from a dependence on linear programming to heuristics is evidenced through the literature review, although linear programming and its derivatives continue to be used to demonstrate the development of strategic forest plans, plans without spatial components, or relaxed solutions to more complex forest planning problems. Initially, wood production and economic goals dominated the themes of journal articles, but just as the forest management environment has evolved to include an explicit recognition of non-timber goals, so have mathematical programming techniques evolved to support the development of forest plans with non-timber goals. Spatial components within forest planning processes have also increased dramatically in the last decade, as resource goals that key off of the juxtaposition of activities have become increasingly important. Finally, two North American forestry journals, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research and Forest Science, have become the predominant sources of forest-level planning literature that focuses on forest planning problem formulations and examples of the use of mathematical programming techniques in forest-level planning.
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Vol. 6 • No. 1