Forest & Road Engineering

Silvicon’s engineering department has a wide range of experience, enabling us to plan and implement cost effective solutions no matter what the terrain, or the available equipment.  Through effective communication and a highly skilled workforce, we ensure that we meet the needs of our clients.


Forest Engineering - Road Design and Layout

Silvicon’s Forest Engineering department is highly experienced in the layout and design of forest roads.  Collectively our team has over 45 years of diversified road layout and design experience on the coast, in the interior of B.C, and in Alberta.  We are capable of providing cost effective route planning that meets today’s timber development challenges.  Our staff consistently lay out in excess of 25 km of main and secondary haul roads per year and provide road designs for more than 15 km annually as well.

Our breadth of layout experience ranges from low-budget roads on rolling topography, to costly routes through steep, unstable ground.  Our experience has carried us into the steep and rugged terrain of the Coast Mountains, and onto the gentle but frequently fragile ground associated with the Interior plateau.  We employ ROADENG software in the design of roads, and have been involved with Softree Technical Systems since 1993 as Beta testers in the continual improvement of their highly successful forest engineering software.  Our road design packages are tried and true, as over 300 kilometres of road have been constructed utilizing them.  We can easily modify our package to best suit our clients’ needs.  Silvicon is on the Province of British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations' eligibility list for route reconnaissance, survey and design of forest roads.

A large portion of our experience has been in the Hazelton and Skeena Mountains, which require road locations involving difficult terrain, and complex stream crossings.  Our forest engineers are well trained to identify potentially unstable ground, and regularly incorporate the results of terrain stability field assessments into our designs. 

Silvicon’s forest engineers have been involved numerous times in the ground-truthing of total chance and total resource plans, and in the evaluation of alternate routes contributing to cost-benefit analyses. We are conversant with both small and large drainage prescriptions from cross-drains to deep gully-fills, and from work bridges to multiple-span long-term bridges.  Our staff can perform site plan data collection and drawing preparation for simple or intricate stream crossings.  Our engineering team has also been trained in and regularly performs stream classifications for fish habitat, as they affect drainage structure selection.  

Forest Engineering - Block Design and Layout

Silvicon’s Forest Engineering department is proficient at all types of harvest system planning and layout.  We have extensive experience with all silviculture systems from clearcut to the many forms of partial cut. Our team can easily adapt from horse to helicopter layout, and from complex multi-span cable layout to ground-based systems.  Whatever the need, Silvicon can provide a timber harvesting design that will meet the challenges of the environment, economics and social acceptance.

We are conversant with all types of cable layout for a wide variety of cable machinery, and regularly plan and execute the design of cost effective cable harvest systems.  We regularly perform static deflection line analyses for cable harvest areas, and have the expertise to easily perform dynamic payload analyses for any given equipment or system.  Intermediate supports and raised tail-trees can be assessed for their load-bearing capacities and buckling stress using LoggerPC software.

We are experts at all ground-based harvest systems including cut-to-length, roadside and conventional landing layout.  Silvicon’s forest engineering staff stay abreast of technological change of harvesting equipment and techniques through regular attendance at equipment demonstrations, training courses, workshops and seminars, as well as through the review of publications relating to harvest systems and machinery.  We make a point of revisiting our layout during harvest operations, to talk with the people implementing our plans, and to critically review our work.

We are very experienced at developing harvest chances that meet the requirements of the Forest Practices Code, as well as ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification.  
Members of our engineering team have terrain stability field assessment training.  This frequently allows for the efficient layout of harvesting plans without the delay associated with soliciting outside expertise.  Through effective communication with clients, field personnel are able to make on-the-ground decisions consistent with the client’s tolerance for risk.  Our ability to identify and understand geophysical processes allows us to markedly reduce the time taken by outside experts to view and evaluate terrain issues affecting layout and harvesting.  Further, this understanding allows us to contribute in a meaningful way to a practical cost effective solution to complex problems relating to terrain stability issues.

Through the production of detailed reports, Silvicon ensures effective knowledge transfer from our field crews to our clients.  We regularly provide detailed engineering reports for the harvest units we prepare, furnishing the client with valuable insight into the operational aspects of the block.  These reports include a summary of the terrain encountered in the area, the areas of concern to the client and the individual responsible for harvesting operations, the harvest systems and silviculture systems recommended for the site, a summary of the species and volumes present, and specifics relating to diameter removal if applicable.  Riparian issues such as retention and stream crossings are highlighted in this engineering report, along with biodiversity objectives, and details pertaining to the development of roads and landings.  Harvesting maps are prepared showing in detail all the specifics relating to development of the harvest unit.

In summary, Silvicon’s forest engineering department has a wide range of experience, enabling us to plan, and implement cost effective harvest system layout no matter what the terrain, the available equipment, or harvest system.  Through effective communication and a highly skilled workforce, we ensure that harvest planning and field layout suit the needs of our client.

Development Planning

In addition to our extensive field experience, our personnel have the expertise required to prepare, ground-truth, and implement total resource plans that will stand the test of time.  We have prepared total resource plans well in excess of one million hectares for industry clients in the Prince Rupert Region.

Silvicon has participated in specific aspects of the Forest Development Planning process for numerous Ministry and licensee clients.  Much of this work has centred on access and development considerations or the provision of FDP amendment rationale.  Silvicon Services currently acts as the planning department for Stuart Lake Lumber Co. Ltd. And Westex’s Kitwanga Lumber.  In this capacity, Silvicon is responsible for all aspects of Stuart Lake Lumber’s and Kitwanga Lumber’s FDP development (over 300,000 m3 of timber annually).  Additionally, Silvicon provides management plans for numerous Woodlot Licensees.

In addition to the total resource plans and other planning initiatives shown on the Project Listings, Silvicon has worked on a contract with the Ministry of Sustainable Resources that involves grizzly bear management and its impact on the timber resource in the Babine corridor (West Babine Sustainable Resource Management Plan).