State Timber Sale Programs, Policies, and Procedures: A National Assessment

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State timber sale programs play a key role in fulfilling the fiduciary and land-management responsibilities associated with state-administered forests. They also are a major supplier of wood fiber for the nation's primary forest products manufacturing industry. This study is the first to describe the national landscape of state timber sale programs and identify opportunities for improving their effectiveness. A survey of state timber sale program supervisors was conducted to obtain information on the physical characteristics of state-administered timberland, sources of timber sale program direction and program goals, the proximity of wood products industry in relation to state-administered land, and methods used to set up and administer timber sales on this land. The assessment found that a “typical” state timber sale program does not exist, as many of the policies and procedures established to sell state timber differ greatly. These include the methods used to set reserve timber prices, collect payments for purchased timber, impose penalties for contract extensions, increase timber availability for small businesses, and pay for construction of new roads for timber sales. Two areas where little variation exists among programs are the use of short-term timber-sale contracts and first-price sealed bid auctions. Two areas of concern cited by several supervisors are low competition for timber and multiple sources for program direction that may lead to vague or conflicting program goals.

Keywords: mail survey; public land management; state government; timber sales

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2012

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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