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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An application of linear programming to log allocation in the forest industry of British Columbia Sydneysmith, Sam


This thesis presents an application of linear programming to the question of efficient log allocation in the forest industry of British Columbia. Current procedures for allocating logs among alternative utilization processes are discussed and it is suggested that a more efficient allocation might be obtained through a systematic approach to the problem. The economic necessity of improving net returns to the log supply is emphasized. A linear programme log-allocation model is presented, based on an integrated-industry in the coastal region of British Columbia. The model encompasses three main categories of log-use, namely sawmilling, plywood production and pulp production, and demonstrates how a given supply of logs may be optimally distributed among these structurally different log-conversion processes. Emphasis throughout this study is on the structure of the linear programme model, although considerable effort was directed to obtaining realistic data. Solutions of the model, obtained through the services of the Computing Centre at the University of British Columbia, are discussed, and a superficial comparison is made with actual log allocation in the industry. Modifications of the model to suit the log-allocation problem faced by an individual firm in the short-run are discussed and normal comparative-statics applications are considered. It is pointed out that many of the simplifying assumptions in the model may be relaxed. However, the main limitation to its practical application by industry and government lies in the quality and type of data available. In this respect it is suggested that the linear programme model of this thesis provides a valuable guide to the production data required to improve economic efficiency in the forest industry.

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