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Comparison of Timber and Wildlife Values and Returns on Farm Woodlots

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For the average size farm in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, net cash timber returns, based on a cruise of the woodlots on 18 farms, varied from $477 per year for those farmers doing their own cutting and skidding to $310 per year for those farmers selling on the stump. Returns from wildlife varied from a high of $257 for those rooming and boarding hunters to a low of $26 per year for those charging a hunting fee of one dollar per hunter per day. Leasing of the hunting rights returned about $42 per year. Returns to the county as a whole from deer hunter expenditures totaled approximately $473,200 per year. Five percent of this, or about $23,800, was received by landowners producing the game. A $200 deer and hunter damage cost per farm per year stimulated an increase in gross revenue to the county of about $546 per farm, or $47.70 per deer. Timber harvested under reasonable cutting practices returned to farmers a gross of about $5.25 per acre per year. The returns to the community as a whole from deer under total forest conditions averaged approximately 95 cents per acre per year. If the returns from all other forms of wildlife are added to the returns from deer, it is estimated that total wildlife returns to the community as a whole would be approximately one-quarter those of timber. In Sullivan County private landowners have little economic justification for making expenditures toward the improvement of wildlife habitat. Resource allocation to privately owned forest land should be directed toward the production of timber rather than of wildlife if the primary objective of the owner is profit maximization.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forest Management, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Publication date: 1963-10-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

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    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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