The purpose of this study is to use historical maps, geographical information system (GIS) analysis and field surveys to investigate how a transport network in a mountainous forest area has improved from the beginning of WW I to today, and to evaluate the condition of the original transport network according to its re-engineered condition and its current use.
Forest Operation Management Unit, Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.
E-mail: [email protected] some mountain areas of northeastern Italy, the present forest road network has been partially developed using the previous military road network built during the First World War (WW I).
The current management of the areas of forest considers the road network essential to provide access for forestry activities, but also to increase the value of recreational activities and tourism related to the historical importance of this area.
The aim of the study was to investigate the technical evolution of a mountain road network from the beginning of the last century to today.
The research consisted in a preliminary reconnaissance of the original road network using the WW I military maps, a further reconnaissance using the technical maps dated to the 1960s, and the survey of the current road network through the differential global positioning system (D-GPS).
The study also aimed to evaluate the current condition of the original road network according to the use made of it today in order to highlight how building standards influenced its evolution in terms of transportation systems and traffic management.
Forest management today has to meet numerous objectives.
The planning of multi-functional forest road networks is essential to meeting the aims of sustainable forest management (Gumus et al., 2008).
When wood harvesting is considered the principal economic benefit, the planning of forest road networks has to ensure the efficiency both of the operation itself and of the wood transportation (Klč, 2005).
Forest road network parameters change according to construction location requirement and management activities.
Furthermore, forest roads also bring together in a wider sense all those activities directly or indirectly related to the movement of goods, people and materials (Sudenberg and Silversides, 1988).