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Hurricanes and the Economics of Loblolly Pine Plantations

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Following a damaging storm, managers of small forest tracts often want to know when to harvest and reforest to maximize financial return. The assessment of financial return is complicated by the need to project the product value of damaged trees and to account for the risk of another damaging storm. Methods are demonstrated for handling both these complications. The effects of stem sweep on product value is projected by incorporating a sweep distribution into a simulator for stand growth and computing stumpage value using a residual value approach in which trees are optimally allocated to product classes based on their stem dimensions. A single-rotation formula for a stand's expected present value (EPV) is derived assuming age-dependent damage risk and salvage proportion. Using information about damage following Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina and risks of storm damage in coastal areas of the southeastern United States, the stand-level economic impacts of several variables are estimated. Results show that age-dependent damage risk and stocking reduction caused by tree mortality have the greatest impact on the relationship between EPV and rotation age. The effects of salvage proportion and stand damage in the form of stem sweep are relatively small. These results highlight the variables that need careful specification in any assessment of the financial return of a damaged stand. For. Sci. 41(4):675-688.

Keywords: Stand management; financial return; risk; stand damage

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Forest Resources, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Publication date: November 1, 1995

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.
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