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Hancock makes plans compliant with the help of the Remsoft Analytics

Hancock makes plans SFI® compliant
RSPS enables TIMO to show responsible stewardship

The Client
Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) is the world’s largest global manager of timberland investments. The Boston-based company manages $2.7-billion in timberland assets in the US South, US Northeast, western US and Canada as well as Australia and New Zealand.  It’s subsidiary, Hancock Forest Management (HFM) manages 520,000 acres of forestlands in Georgia and Alabama.

The Challenge

The timberlands – primarily pine plantations – are managed as a financial investment on behalf of various private and institutional investors. And while maximizing return is a priority, sound stewardship is also important.

HFM has chosen to third-party-certify its lands via the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program, agreeing to show that all management activities meet responsible stewardship guidelines and achieve performance measures.

The Remsoft Solution 

To balance these objectives, Jason Reynolds, HFM forest planning analyst, began using Spatial Woodstock, flexible forest modeling software, to create forest models and develop strategic and tactical management plans in early 2003. He first learned  of the software from HTRG forest planners who have used the software to develop and review forest management plans for various timberland portfolios.

The system offers two distinct advantages for HFM needs: LP programming means that planners can optimize plans according to their objectives while sp[atial resolutions helps them to ensure that those solutions are SFI®-complaint, particularly with regard to adjacency requirements and green-up delays.

To determine what activities will take place and when, Mr. Reynolds builds the Spatial Woodstock model for a 50-year planning horizon, optimizing for timberland value. Based on this, five-year tactical plans are formulated to implement the strategic plan at the stand level. 
"We are taking what the Spatial Woodstock model tells us straight up and we look at the planned activities. I work with the area foresters to decide 'How can we best implement the model on-the-ground?' This is done by looking at the first five years of the Spatial Woodstock solution to develop our tactical plan and then examine the solution through a GIS-interface to see that it is SFI®-compliant," Reynolds says. 
HFM conducts reforestation harvests on approximately 13,000 acres/year and conducts commercial thinning along with other integrated management activities on additional acres.   

"When we map the tactical plans, we can see where stands are, when they are scheduled for harvest, and what is next to them, so we can reassign polygons to another year for operational reasons, or split them in two if a given polygon is too big to meet green-up delays and reassign the remainder of the polygon to another period." 
HFM uses Spatial Woodstock to assign actions and a time period to each polygon. Once tactical plans have been revised manually HFM extracts the information from the updated maps and updates the Spatial Woodstock LP schedule and area files so that the strategic model has the most current and accurate data.

HFM then reruns the updated Spatial Woodstock models to derive an accurate long-term plan that is SFI®-compliant at the stand level. 
The Result

"So far we've applied this approach on 70,000 acres and it has been very effective at planning our harvest over time, without spatial conflicts," Mr. Reynolds explains. 
Hancock Timber Resource Group is the world's largest timberland investment manager for institutional investors with more than 3-million acres under management in North America and Australia. For more information about Hancock Timber Resource Group please visit www.htrg.com

Remsoft creates the world’s leading software for sustainable spatial forest management planning. For 15 years, the Remsoft Spatial Planning System has enabled clients to meet objectives while ensuring the viability of the world’s forests and related ecosystems. For more information about the Remsoft Spatial Planning System visit www.remsoft.com.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and SFI® are service marks owned by the American Forest & Paper Association. 

Hancock SFI CS.pdf

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