Course Goal

When heavy steel equipment moves across a cutblock, soil damage can result. Often the damage is long term and can reduce the rate of growth for our next crop of trees.

The purpose of this course is to provide practical ideas to forestry contractors, equipment operators, and field supervisors, so that together, they can minimize the damage to forest soils during forest operations.

The opportunity to protect forest soil occurs at each step of the forest- management process, from harvest planning; to field layout; to harvesting and reforestation activities. Operators of forestry equipment, harvesting contractors, site preparation and field supervisors are vital links in this process.

Harvesting contractors, equipment operators, and their supervisors will learn how to use visual indicators like landscape features and tree species to identify potential wet areas. Simple field tests will help them anticipate when soils are actually at risk.

Contractors will learn about equipment features that influence soil compaction and rutting, and operating techniques to reduce soil damage.

Field supervisors will learn to schedule harvesting to minimize soil damage. The course also offers ways to modify harvesting operations when soils have become susceptible to damage.

Learning Objectives

Participants who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Describe the function of soil organic matter, structure and pore space
  • Participate effectively in planning and team action processes
  • Describe the three main types of soil damage
  • Recognize the legislation and guidelines designed to protect soils
  • Recognize eight ways to avoid soil damage
  • Describe soil reclamation and site preparation practices


  • Course delivery is available in a classroom setting (at your location) or online




The Woodland Operations Learning Foundation (WOLF) has partnered with Northern Lakes College (NLC) to deliver outstanding courses to meet your needs. The Northern Lakes College user- friendly, online learning system allows you to upgrade your skills and get the credentials you need. Any time that works for you and Anywhere you have internet access.

For a limited time, WOLF Environmental Courses are being offered for the special price of $44 (+gst), THANKS to the support of the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA).  This offer is only available to Alberta residents.

WOLF Environmental Courses regular price: $220 (+gst)/course  (Discount Price: $44 (+gst)/course for Alberta residents)

WOLF Operational and Business Courses are available for $220 (+gst)/course

Please click HERE to register

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