Principles of Forest Stewardship

Lesson Eight - Operations Management Plan

By now you should have a good idea of what goes into an operations management plan. This chapter provides a brief review. First we will consider why a plan is important. There are many reasons for doing an operations management plan, here are a few:

  • shows due diligence
  • shows accountability and responsibility
  • avoids and reduces problems
  • saves money
  • provides professional image
  • contributes to sustain ability
  • shows a commitment to the Forest Stewardship Principles
  • assures quality work

There are just a few of the most compelling reasons to have an operations plan.

An operations management plan should include as a minimum the following:

  • a map of the area of operation and boundary lines of the property
  • description of the type of operation e.g. shelterwood, commercial thinning
  • Forest/Wildlife Guidelines
  • road construction and stream crossing plans if needed
  • landowner objectives if applicable

The map is a key element of any operations plan. A map can show a great deal of information. The following information is best conveyed on a map:

  • property boundaries
  • stand boundaries
  • roads (existing and planned)
  • lakes and streams
  • boundaries of the operation
  • stream crossings
  • special management zones
  • wildlife corridors
  • raptor/heron nests
  • snag trees clumps
  • deer wintering areas
  • sensitive areas
  • areas of interest to other users

An operation plan is not complete without some written description. This may be in the form of a table, legend and/or statements. Some things to include are:

  • landowner objectives
  • stand description or cruise data
  • special considerations e.g. ground disturbance, other users.

There are many sources of information to help in putting together an operations management plan. Check with landowners to see if they have had a forest management plan prepared. A forest management plan will have a map, cruise data and/or stand descriptions which are invaluable in preparing an operations plan. Aerial photographs are very helpful in preparing operations plans and can be obtained from your local Land Information Centre. Orthophotographs can also be obtained. Orthophotographs are large map sheets with black and white aerial photography as the base. Overlaid on the top of the photographs can be topographic lines which help in planning roads or property boundaries.

By the time you complete exercise 8, you will have prepared an operations management plan for a fictional woodlot and should you have a good idea of how a plan is made. You may now be able to prepare your own plans. However, if you don't feel you can make your own plan do not be discouraged. There is a lot of consideration that goes into a plan and some prior skills and knowledge is necessary. You may want to hire a forest technician or forester to make a plan for you. However, you now have the knowledge to understand what a good operations management plan looks like.

Exercise 8. Completing the Operations Management Plan

You have now completed a number of exercises on the I.M. Ready Woodlot. Now it is time to put it all together into an operations management plan. The map and table from Exercise 2 will become the operations management plan for the I.M. Ready woodlot.

1. In the table from Exercise 2, under treatment, cross out "clearcut" for stands 3, 4 and 5. Write in the treatment you proposed from Exercise 3. Include any changes you may have made in Exercise 7.

2. Using the contour map from Exercise 4, where you marked in your proposed road, trace the road onto the operations map form Exercise 2. This can most easily be done using a light table, but you can use a window or try it freehand.

3. From the description of Mr.Ready's interests in Exercise 7, write the objectives in a concise but complete manner on the operations management plan from Exercise 2. Try to tie the objectives to your proposed treatments. Title the objective landowner Objectives.

4. Is there anything missing from the operations management plan?