Low Impact Harvesting


IRM is highly skilled in planning harvest operations under a range of environmental constraints and alternative silvicultural systems.  IRM works closely with certified loggers who use equipment that is very “light on the land”, such as the forwarder shown on the left.

IRM uses professional foresters and silviculturists to mark trees, pre-designate skid trails, carefully design landings and haul roads, and closely supervise logging operations.  Strict adherence to these standards consistently yields excellent “on the ground” results.


  • Harvest System Analysis
  • Timber Sale Design and Layout
  • Tree Marking (even and un-evenaged prescriptions)
  • Timber Sale Supervision and Administration
  • Harvesting using cut-to-length method, shear and cable systems

Logging or thinning should be carefully planned and implemented to the highest of standards. Even well designed thinning prescriptions can cause major site degradation if inappropriate logging systems are used or operations poorly conducted.


Project/Client:  Kings Slough Thinning, EENW
Newport, OR
Scope:  The Kings Slough project was an innovative thinning applied on 250 acres of young coastal spruce/hemlock/alder and Douglas-fir, using a cut to length harvester processing small diameter Sitka spruce and Western hemlock in a variable density thinning.  These stands were clearcut by the previous landowner in the early 1980s and planted to Douglas-fir. Swiss needle cast, a disease that slows growth of Douglas-fir, has infected these stands while natural reseeding of hemlock, alder, and spruce has led to tree overstocking.  IRM used a “variable density” thinning approach, whereby <1 acre patches were thinned to different spacings. Some areas where left unthinned, resulting in a mosaic of horizontal forest structure. These individual patches will develop differently, thus providing a range of understory and crown conditions for wildlife. Equally important to the landowner, the forest looks and feels unmanaged and resembles a natural landscape.


Project/Client:  Metolius Preserve Young Stand Thinning, Deschutes Basin Land Trust
near Sisters, Oregon
IRM developed a restoration plan and implemented restoration treatments on 600 acres on the Metolius Preserve.  The Metolius Preserve Young Stand Thinning featured both state of the science silviculture and state of the art equipment. The prescription uses “mosaic” thinning in 50 year old “blackbark” pine stands to restore reference era structure. A harvester/forwarder was used to cut, delimb, and buck trees in the woods, thus minimizing large landings and allowing equipment to travel over a bed of limbs.A forwarding machine fully suspended logs by storing them in a bunk and used existing skid trails. The use of a process called “ghosting” significantly decreased the total area in forwarding trails. The mechanization of logging allowed high levels of utilization of each tree (down to a 1″ top).  Upon completion of thinning, a rubber tracked skid steer (LightfootTM) with Fecon Bullhog masticating head, was used as a single treatment to mulch thinning residues and mow understory shrubs and encroaching undesirable grand fir regeneration. Mowing of bitterbrush and other native shrubs has been shown to invigorate and cause resprouting, which improves browse for deer.

Project/Client:  Wert Harvest, Small Woodland Owner
Location:  Newberg, Oregon
Scope:  IRM completed a 8 acre timber harvest on private forestlands using a Harvester.  Approximately 49.26  MBF was harvested.