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Economics of multiple-use forest management : spatial considerations Bogdanski, Bryan E.C.

Abstract

Historically, Canada's productive forests have been assumed to be reserved for timber use while nonproductive lands have been reserved for other uses. However, demands on Canada's forestlands are becoming increasingly more diverse and traditional timber harvesting practices are now being scrutinized with regard to their consistency with these new demands. The response by provincial and federal policy makers has been a movement towards the concept of multiple-use forest management. However, due to the numerous meanings of the concept, policy makers and practitioners are finding it difficult to implement this new direction. Many of the issues surrounding forest management for multiple use are spatial in nature. Problems include where (location) to manage for single or multiple goods and services, and what scale (size) to choose for management units. The spatial issue, the issue of where, is of great importance in multiple-use forest management, because location is central to the long standing debate in forestry as to whether certain forest areas should be allocated to specialized or general multiple-use management. This dissertation focuses on the problem of modeling the issue of space in an economic model of multiple-use forestry. The study first involves modeling the problem of managing a two-stand forest over a two-period time horizon with and without intensive timber management and then solving a three-stand forest for several case studies by numerical simulation. The analytical and simulation results suggest that relative prices, the discount rate, forest productivity, nontimber productivity, and interdependencies between forest stands are all important determinants of the optimal harvesting and inventory solutions. Within a multiple-stand forest, areas are managed similarly if complementarity exists between stands and differently if substitutability exists between the stands in producing nontimber values, ceteris paribus. The results support both zoning for intensive timber management and integrated resource management everywhere. Thus, there is no a priori optimal management paradigm in forestry. However, intensive timber zones are supported under particular circumstances. Furthermore, the result suggest that forest policy tools, such as forest practices laws and forest land-use zoning, need to be flexible over time and space to promote and achieve efficient resource allocation.

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