Steep Slope is a five-year initiative resting on a ROADMAP that engages forest industry members, equipment manufacturers and distributors, regulators and other stakeholders to build a common vision and strategy to overcome the challenges of harvesting on steep slopes. The STEEP SLOPE Initiative will be:
FPInnovations’ STEEP SLOPE Initiative is centred on three goals:
- Improve worker safety
Improved worker safety is the cornerstone of any new steep slope harvesting technology.Statistics show that steep slopes harvesting is one of the leading sources of workplace injuries and fatalities, particularly hand-falling. Our goal is to increase protection of workers on steep slopes and reduce lost time claims to 50% of the 2014 baseline.
- Increase operating margin
Harvesting, road building and trucking challenges on steep slopes go hand-in-hand with higher costs compared to harvesting on gentler terrain. The STEEP SLOPE Initiative aims to increase operating margins by $5/m3 through a combination of lower harvesting costs and increased timber value. Higher margins could save the industry approximately $90 million per year (e.g. 18 million m3 x $5/m3), strengthening mills, securing local jobs and stimulating economic development in forest-dependent communities.
- Increase access to currently unavailable fibre
Better steep slope harvesting technologies will reduce the cost to access timber on steep slopes and sustain terrain stability, water quality, and regeneration success. Reduced costs and new technology that reduces environmental impacts may increase access to 2 million m3 of currently unavailable timber. Preserving ecosystem integrity will also support the social license for the industry to operate on steep slopes by meeting or exceeding high regulatory standards.
The STEEP SLOPE Initiative is will address these goals over a five-year period resulting in a real transformation in harvesting operations technologies. The ROADMAP outlines the short-, medium- and long-term objectives.