Hunter Harrill

Assistant Professor- Forest Operations

Dr. Hunter Harrill
(707) 826-4220
209 Forestry Building

Forest operations are a critical tool in the management of forests to maintain or enhance the ecosystem services they provide. Traditionally, forest operations focused primarily on harvesting timber to produce wood products. As the world population grows the demand for wood products continues to increase and their production is still the primary goal of many forest managers. However, forest operations are increasingly being used to reduce wildfire risks, restore degraded ecosystems and other evolving objectives in the management of natural resources. My research interests are diverse but relate to the physical feasibility, economic viability, safety and environmental effects of timber harvesting operations; including the integration of new methods and technology to improve them. I like to incorporate research projects into courses as learning examples and wherever possible, I try to involve students in these projects. Some of my research interests include:

  • Forest operations analysis of new equipment & methods
  • Winch-assisted (i.e. tethered) felling and extraction on steep slopes
  • Cable logging practices
  • Biomass harvesting (i.e. collection and transport of harvesting residues & waste)


Ph.D (2014) University of Canterbury, Forestry
M.S. (2010) Humboldt State University, Natural Resources
B.S. (2006) Humboldt State University, Forestry

Courses Taught

SCI 100: Becoming a STEM Professional in the 21st Century
FOR 250: Introduction to Forest Operations
FOR 315: Forest Management
FOR 350: Forest Harvesting Systems
FOR 353: Forest Road Location & Design
FOR 450: Harvesting System Design & Cost Analysis


Visser, R., H. Harrill, O.F. Obi, L. Holmes. Operational Analysis of Grapple Yarding in New Zealand: A Case Study of Three Mechanized Harvesting Operations. Forests 2023, 14,190.

 Fagundes, K., H. Harrill, S. Marshall, A. Stubblefield, H. Han 2022. Assessing Soil Disturbance from a Tethered Feller-Buncher on Steep Slopes in Northern California. Proceedings COFE-FORMEC-IUFRO 2022, Corvallis, Oregon, October 4th-7th 2022. 162-173p.

Varch, T., G. Erber, R. Visser, R. Spinelli, H. Harrill, K. Stampfer. 2021. Advances in Cable Yarding: A Review of Recent Developments in Skyline Carriage Technology. Current Forestry Reports 7, 181-194.

Leslie, C., R. Visser, D. Roeser, C. Koszman, J. Hunt, H. Harrill. 2019. Factors That Affect Productivity and Utilisation of Winch-assist machines: Six Case Studies in New Zealand and Canada. Proceedings Symposium on Forest Mechanization (FORMEC) 2019, Sopron, Hungary, October 6th-9th 2019. 6-11 p.

Harrill, H., R. Visser. 2019. A Survey of Ground-based Harvesting Systems in New Zealand. Harvesting Technical Note HTN12-04. Forest Growers Research, Rotorua. 9p.

Visser, R., H. Harrill, K. Baek. 2019.Biomass recovery operations in New Zealand: A review of the literature. Harvesting Report H041. Forest Growers Research. Rotorua. 32p.

Harrill, H., R. Visser, K. Raymond. 2019. New Zealand cable logging 2010-2018: A period of change. Current Forestry Reports. Doi. 10.1007/s40725-019-00092-5

Kuhmaier, M., H. Harrill, M.R. Ghaffariyan, M. Hofer, K. Stampfer, M. Brown and R. Visser. 2019. Using Conjoint Analyses to Improve Cable Yarder Design Characteristics: An Austrian Yarder Case Study to Advance Cost-Effective Extraction. Forests 10 (2), 165 doi:10.3390/f10020165.   

Harrill, H. and R. Visser 2018. Survey of yarders and rigging configurations: 2018. Harvesting Technical Note HTN10-04. Forests Growers Research, Rotorua. 9p.

Harrill, H., B. Reriti, R. Visser 2018. Measuring the utilization of winch-assist machines. Harvesting Technical Note HTN10-03. Forests Growers Research, Rotorua. 7p.

Spinelli, R. and H. Harrill 2018. Integrated biomass harvesting for New Zealand operations. Harvesting Technical Note HTN10-01. Forests Growers Research, Rotorua. 11p.

Harrill. H. 2018. Harvesting Technology in New Zealand: New Software Measures What Matters. Technology Report (Part 2), Truck Logger Association 41(3):24.

Harrill. H. 2018. Harvesting Technology in New Zealand: New Software Measures What Matters. Technology Report (Part 1), Truck Logger Association 41(2): 24-26.

Visser, R. and H. Harrill. 2017. Cable yarding in North America and New Zealand: A review of developments and practices. Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering. 38(2). 9p.

Proto, A.R., G. Macri, R. Visser, H. Harrill, D. Russo, G. Zimbalatti. 2017. A case study on the productivity of forwarder extraction in small-scale southern Italian forests. Small-scale Forestry, Published online 2017, pp. 1-17.

Proto, A.R., G. Macri, R. Visser, G. Zimbalatti, H. Harrill, D. Russo. 2017. Factors affecting forwarder productivity. European Journal of Forest Research. 137(2): 143-151.

Spinelli, R., Marchi, E., Visser, R., Harrill, H., Gallo, R., Cambi, M., & Magagnotti, N. 2016. The effect of carriage type on yarding productivity and cost. International Journal of Forest Engineering.

Spinelli, R., Marchi, E., Visser, R., Harrill, H., Gallo, R., Cambi, M., & Magagnotti, N. 2016. Skyline tension, shock loading, payload and performance for a European cable yarder using two different carriage types. European Journal of Forest Research, 1-10.

Visser, R., K. Raymond, and H. Harrill. 2014. Mechanising steep terrain harvesting operations. New Zealand Journal of Forestry 59(3):3-8.

Harrill, H., & Han, H. S. (2012). Productivity and cost of integrated harvesting of wood chips and sawlogs in stand conversion operations. International Journal of Forestry Research 2012(1): 10p.

Harrill, H., & Han, H. S. (2010). Application of hook-lift trucks in centralized logging slash grinding operations. Biofuels, 1(3), 399-408.