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Decreasing Woodlot Size and the Future of Timber Sales in Massachusetts: When Is an Operation Too Small?

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The heavily forested landscape of Massachusetts is dominated by nonindustrial private ownerships. Statistics indicate that parcel size has decreased to a most recent average of 10.6 ac. Professional loggers were queried to determine if there was a timber sale size (expressed in either volume or area) below which they would not bid. Respondents indicated that they had operated on a timber sale as small as an average of 7.8 ac and 20.4 mbf, and would purchase one as small as an average of 5.3 ac and 17.1 mbf. The single most important factor in deciding to bid on a small sale was the quality and value of the timber. In the future, small parcels with a preponderance of low-quality timber resulting from high-grading may be deemed inoperable by loggers. The importance of high quality timber on small parcels emphasizes the need for stand improvement measures to ensure small parcels are feasible to commercially operate in the future. North. J. Appl. For. 13(2):00-00.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry & Wildlife Management, Holdsworth Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

Publication date: 1996-06-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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