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Determinants and Projections of Land Use in the South Central United States

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This article presents historical trends and future projections of forest, agricultural, and urban/other land uses for the South Central region of the United States. An econometric land use model is used to investigate the relationship between the areas of land in alternative uses and economic and demographic factors influencing land use decisions. Determinants of land use included in the model are the net returns from different land uses, land quality, and demographic variables such as population density. Given projections of stumpage prices and population, the fitted econometric models are used to generate projections of future land use to the year 2050. Under a scenario in which population changes in the future, but stumpage prices remain constant, urban/other land increases by 2.2 million ac from 1992 to 2050. More private timberland (1.8 million ac) than agricultural land (0.4 million ac) is converted to urban/other land to accommodate the population increase. Under a scenario of population growth and 0.5% annual increases in stumpage prices, private timberland increases from 101.7 million ac to 107.2 million ac by 2050, and the urban/other land increases by 1.3 million ac. Agricultural land declines by almost 7 million ac, mirroring the increases in the urban/other land and private timberland. South. J. Appl. For. 26(2):78–84.
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Keywords: Land use; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; land rents; natural resource management; natural resources; projections of forest area; resource planning assessment

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331 2: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR , 97331

Publication date: 2002-05-01

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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