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Cost Effectiveness from Regional Optimization in the USDA Forest Service

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This paper addresses the potential for improving cost effectiveness in the National Forest System through large-scale optimization. It is shown theoretically why allocations of output targets and budgets across National Forests should be expected to be inefficient in the absence of large-scale optimization analysis. And, conservative estimates of the potential for cost savings from large-scale optimization are developed using a multilevel optimization model. These estimates indicate that the output levels in the current "preferred alternatives" in Forest Service land management planning could be achieved for at least 1 to 11% less cost if outputs and budgets were allocated more efficiently across forests. For. Sci. 36(4):939-954.
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Keywords: Linear programming; forest planning; multilevel optimization; regional planning

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Project Leader and Operations Research Analyst, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO.

Publication date: 1990-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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