Investments in Fuel Removals to Avoid Forest Fires Result in Substantial Benefits

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Abstract:

Forest fuel reduction treatments are needed, as shown by the increased number and cost of devastating crown fires in overly dense forests. Although large trees can be removed for valuable products, the market value for the smaller logs may be less than the harvest and hauling charges, resulting in a net cost for thinning operations. However, failure to remove these small logs results in the retention of ladder fuels that support crown fires with destructive impacts to the forest landscape. A cost/benefit analysis broadened to include market and nonmarket considerations indicates that the negative impacts of crown fires are underestimated and that the benefits of government investments in fuel reductions are substantial.

Keywords: cost/benefit analysis; forest fires; forest fuels; nonmarket values; small-diameter logs

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • 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.
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