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The Impact of Soil Degradation on the Expected Present Net Worth of Future Timber Harvests

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The standard Faustmann method for computing soil expectation values and economically optimal rotation times ignores potential declines in future soil productivity. In reality, common forestry practices can lead to substantial declines in soil productivity through such factors as soil compaction and nutrient losses. Adjustments to the Faustmann formulation that account for soil degradation are developed in this paper. A dynamic programming algorithm is developed, which permits the assessment of direct, long-term losses associated with destructive logging practices. Sample calculations of these losses demonstrate both the crucial impact of the discount rate and the limited role of projections for distant rotations. For. Sci. 33(4):823-834.

Keywords: Clearcutting; Faustmann formula; dynamic programming; soil expectation value; whole-tree harvesting

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 1S6

Publication date: December 1, 1987

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