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Volume 2017, Article ID 2745764, 8 pages
Research Article

Methods to Reduce Forest Residue Volume after Timber Harvesting and Produce Black Carbon

1USDA FS, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 1221 S. Main, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
2USDA FS, Pacific Southwest Research Station, 1731 Research Park Dr., Davis, CA 95618, USA
3USDA FS, Umatilla National Forest, 72510 Coyote Rd, Pendleton, CA 97801, USA
4Utah State University, 5230 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84332, USA
5Nevada Division of Forestry, 2478 Fairview Drive, Carson City, NV 89701, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; su.def.sf@eseormudd

Received 16 December 2016; Accepted 21 February 2017; Published 9 March 2017

Academic Editor: Artemi Cerda

Copyright © 2017 Deborah S. Page-Dumroese et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Forest restoration often includes thinning to reduce tree density and improve ecosystem processes and function while also reducing the risk of wildfire or insect and disease outbreaks. However, one drawback of these restoration treatments is that slash is often burned in piles that may damage the soil and require further restoration activities. Pile burning is currently used on many forest sites as the preferred method for residue disposal because piles can be burned at various times of the year and are usually more controlled than broadcast burns. In many cases, fire can be beneficial to site conditions and soil properties, but slash piles, with a large concentration of wood, needles, forest floor, and sometimes mineral soil, can cause long-term damage. We describe several alternative methods for reducing nonmerchantable forest residues that will help remove excess woody biomass, minimize detrimental soil impacts, and create charcoal for improving soil organic matter and carbon sequestration.