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The Declining Even Flow Effect--Non Sequitur of National Forest Planning

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The traditional concept of sustained yield has evolved into the more rigid notion of even flow for timber harvest regulation on national forests. Combination of an even flow constraint with a wealth-maximizing objective function in current formulations of the forest planning model can lead to an anomaly, dubbed the declining even flow effect (DEFE), when the national forest planning process is repeated periodically as required by law. When the effect occurs, first-decade harvests fall during successive planning cycles. The cause lies in both the redefinition of the even flow constraint that occurs at successive planning cycles and the assumptions associated with a capital efficiency objective function that are violated when an even flow constraint is imposed. Forest Sci. 32:960-972.

Keywords: Linear programming; forest planning; harvest scheduling; sustained yield

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Forest Management, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula 59812

Publication date: December 1, 1986

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