Tree Improvement in Western Conifers: Economic Aspects
The National Forest System's tree improvement program for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws) in the Pacific Southwest and the "progressive tree improvement program" for Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) in the Pacific Northwest appear capable of returning at least an 8-percent real rate of return on investment if short rotations are used or if tree improvement is accompanied by thinnings. A break-even, cost-benefit analysis indicated that interest rate and real-price increases in stumpage are the major determinants of profitability. The effect of program design was also investigated. The larger the area over which the breeding effort is applied, the greater the profitability, although large breeding zones increase the biological risk of nonadaptation to local conditions and of loss of the local genetic resource. The financial effect of increasing orchard seed yield was small unless the planting program could be expanded. In other words, financial gain would be slight if the increase in seed yield merely reduced the required acreage of seed orchard and associated costs.
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Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Director, Raw Material Supply, Timberlands Division, Champion International Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut
Publication date: 1982-10-01
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