Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Economic Assessment of Mountain Pine Beetle Timber Salvage

22.10.2013
Forest Service study finds that increased timber salvage of trees killed by mountain pine beetle would benefit some areas in the West but not others

A recently published study by U.S. Forest Service researchers evaluates potential revenues from harvesting standing timber killed by mountain pine beetle in the western United States.

The study shows that while positive net revenues could be produced in West Coast and Northern Rockies states with active timber markets, the central Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—which have the largest volume of standing dead timber—would not generate positive net revenues by salvaging beetle-killed timber.

A mountain pine beetle epidemic in the western United States has left mountainsides covered with dead pines, especially lodgepole pine, with most of the timber and land affected on national forests. Policymakers and forest managers are considering increasing timber salvage rates on these lands as a way to address potential wildfire threat, hazards from falling trees, and visual impact, but first need to assess the broader economic ramifications of putting more timber on the market in areas where mills have closed and markets have waned over the two last decades.

Research Forester Jeff Prestemon and fellow scientists with the Forest Service Southern Research Station Forest Economics and Policy unit and with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center were asked to evaluate the circumstances under which salvaging pine beetle-killed timber would be cost-effective. The researchers used an economic assessment model to estimate potential salvage volumes, costs and revenues from programs that would encourage salvage of standing dead timber, summarizing findings by state and owner groups.

“We carried out a set of multiyear simulations to produce an assessment of the net revenue impacts of salvage on national forests and other public and private lands in the 12 contiguous western U.S. states,” says Prestemon. Net revenues are defined as revenues received at the mill gate less the costs of harvesting, transportation, and administration. The researchers also carried out a scenario that tested doubling the total mill capacity in Montana and Colorado—two states heavily affected by the mountain pine beetle—to evaluate the effects of efforts to encourage or subsidize higher rates of salvage in these states.

Findings from the assessment include:

The central and northern Rocky Mountain states have the most salvageable timberland and the largest total salvageable volumes, with the highest in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho.

The majority of timber and lands affected in the 12 western states are on national forests—88 percent of the total salvageable volume and 84 percent of the total area.

Four states—Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming—have actual volume losses greater than 2 billion cubic feet. Two additional states—Oregon and Utah—have more than 1 billion cubic feet of salvageable volume.

Of the above six states, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana currently have the timber processing capacity to absorb large quantities of salvage.

Scenarios show that salvage would generate positive net revenues in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, and South Dakota.

States where salvage-generated revenues are on average less than salvage costs include Colorado and Wyoming—which have large proportions of salvageable volume—and Nevada.

For Wyoming and Colorado, scenarios show that relatively high volumes removed per acre of timberland lead to quick saturation of available markets even when the number of total acres harvested is small.

“In short, our results show that places where timber product markets are strong are likely to have profitable salvage, while places where product markets are weak would need sizable public expenditures to achieve appreciable reductions in the amount of dead standing timber,” says Prestemon. The study did not examine other factors that might influence land management decisions, such as fire risk reduction, improvement in stand conditions, or jobs.

Access the full text of the article at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/ja/2013/ja_2013_prestemon_001.pdf

Jeff Prestemon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>