Geographic Information System-Based Spatial Analysis of Sawmill Wood Procurement

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In the sawmill sector of the forest products industry, the clustering of mills and wide variation in forest stocking and ownership result in sawlog markets that are complex and spatially differentiated. Despite the inherent spatial attributes of markets for stumpage and logs, few studies have used geospatial methods to examine wood procurement in detail across political boundaries. This article provides a visual representation of wood procurement pressure across the Northern Forest region of the northeastern United States based on a spatial analysis of woodshed maps provided by 273 sawmills in the United States and Canada. The analysis also includes the predicted woodsheds of 280 nonrespondent mills, which were modeled based on mill characteristics and location. In general, maps emphasize the magnitude of softwood procurement on industrial and investment-oriented forestlands in northern Maine, but also highlight distinct spatial procurement patterns in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Sensitivity analyses of woodshed boundary uncertainty suggest that procurement pressure in existing hotspots will intensify if procurement range is restricted by high transportation costs. The methods used to visualize resource procurement in this study have the potential to benefit a broad range of stakeholders including industry, policymakers, and landowners.

Keywords: land use; spatial analysis; wood procurement

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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