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Economic and Fragmentation Effects of Clearcut Restrictions

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Clearcut restrictions limiting individual clearcut size affect economic outputs and alter the spatial distribution of wildlife habitat over the landscape. Simulations of different clearcutting restrictions were applied to a 47,500 ha mixed-ownership landscape in the Sierra Nevada of California. The private owner was assumed to pursue a goal of maximizing net present value (NPV), while the public owner was assumed to use a combination of low-intensity selection harvesting and long rotations to develop late-seral habitat. With a 10 yr exclusion period, maximum clearcut size limits of 4 and 32 ha reduced the private owner's NPV to 79% and 91% of the unconstrained maximum, respectively; with a 20 yr exclusion period, to 65% and 88% of the unconstrained maximum. Initially, smaller clearcut size limits resulted in more mature forest [average stand diameter (ASD) greater than 30 cm], but with greater fragmentation. Ultimately, late-seral habitat (ASD > 61 cm) was insensitive to clearcut size limits because rotation lengths of 60 or 90 yr did not produce that habitat class for most forest types. For. Sci. 44(4):569-577.

Keywords: GIS; adjacency constraints; forest practice regulations; landscape ecology

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor Emeritus of Forest Management, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 145 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3114--Phone: (510) 642-6489;, Fax: (510) 643-5438

Publication date: November 1, 1998

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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