A geographic information system (GIS) is a set of powerful, computer-based, analytical algorithms for solving spatial data problems. Recently, due to increases in memory size, computing speed, and programming advances, personal computers have been used in spatial analysis problems. This study reports the benefits of using a PC-based GIS system to solve a common, but complicated problem in forest management: assignment of harvesting areas with harvesting exclusion zones. Two stands each from the USDA Crossett Experimental Forest, the University of Arkansas Forest, and the Ouachita National Forest (total six) were analyzed to determine the changes due to following best management practices (BMPs) and by excluding sensitive areas from harvesting activity with stream-side management zones (SMZs). A onetime loss land, averaging seven percent of the forest land, was taken out of production due to the implementation of SMZs. Benefit cost ratios of harvestable timber value to harvesting cost decreased with the imposition of SMZs, but the judicious use of portable bridging to span SMZs at critical locations mitigated losses significantly.
Kluender, Richard A.; Weih, Robert C. Jr.; Corrigan, M.; and Pickett, J.
"Assessing the Cost of Best Management Practices in Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 51
, Article 15.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol51/iss1/15