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Hügelkultur as a debris management technique in forest fuel reduction treatments






Steven Hvenegaard (Lead); Greg Baxter

Other Collaborator(s):

Columbia Basin Trust; Living Lands Agroecology

Advisory Member(s):

Disposal of woody debris and vegetative matter from forest fuel reduction treatments is a challenge and alternatives to conventional methods of pile burning and chipping are being considered. The construction of hugels is proposed as a debris management technique that would configure debris on site in a less flammable state.

FPInnovations has collaborated with Living Lands Agroecology to develop research protocols that can be applied to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of storing residue from fuel treatments in the form of hugels. This three-part research project is developed with the following objectives:

  • To develop a research methodology to evaluate the flammability of hugels constructed using residue from a forest fuel treatment
  • To design data collection methods to compare productivity of a fuel treatment using pile and burn debris disposal with the same treatment method that incorporates hugels as a debris disposal method
  • To identify literature that investigates decomposition and flammability of woody debris and masticated fuel which may help to inform and support the application of hügelkultur as a debris disposal method

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