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Effects of Population Pressures on Wood Procurement and Logging Opportunities in Northern New England

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The availability of raw material for harvest and use by wood-consuming mills in northern New England is a concern of the region's forest products community. Shifting populations, as well as shifting priorities for and values of land uses in the region, have placed pressures on landowners to subdivide and sell their forestland, resulting in concern about future wood supply in some areas of the region. Wood procurement managers and professional loggers, key participants in supplying raw material to wood-consuming mills, were surveyed to better understand the relationships between phenomena such as land development and the availability of logging and wood procurement opportunities. Results suggested concern about sprawl among approximately one-half of the logger respondents in the region, particularly in New Hampshire, where 60% of respondents indicated that there will be less logging in their area in 10 years because of sprawl. Three-quarters of procurement managers said that uncertainty about the future of the region's wood supply was an important or very important barrier to maintaining or expanding their businesses, and over one-half of respondents from New Hampshire indicated that too much development was a barrier. In addition, sawmills receiving at least one-half of their raw material from nonindustrial private forests were more concerned about their future wood supply than those that did not. However, stumpage prices and regulations were cited as important factors affecting mills' wood supplies more often than factors related to population pressures, such as sprawl, development, and shrinking woodlot sizes.

Keywords: forestland development; sprawl; terminal harvesting; timber procurement

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • 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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