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Tree Planting in the South: What Does the Future Hold?

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Projected increasing demands for timber coupled with reduced harvests on public lands have led to concern among some forest policymakers regarding the adequacy of future U.S. timber supplies. One question concerns the likelihood that prevailing market incentives will induce industrial and nonindustrial private landowners to intensify forest management. We develop empirical models of historical tree planting in the southern United States as functions of economic variables and federal cost sharing. We use the models to test whether tree planting has been measurably different in recent years and to make 50 yr projections of future tree planting. Harvest rates, tree planting costs, and federal cost-sharing are shown to be important factors affecting nonindustrial private tree planting, while harvest rates, land values, and interest rates are important factors affecting industrial tree planting. Nonindustrial private tree planting is projected to decline gradually with anticipated rising planting costs and continuation of lower levels of federal tree planting cost-share assistance. Industrial tree planting is projected to rise gradually with anticipated increasing industrial harvest rates. South. J. Appl. For. 26(2):99–107.
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Keywords: Nonindustrial private forest owners; Renewable Resources Planning Act; carbon sequestration; cost-share programs; environmental management; forest; forest industry; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Newtown Square, PA 2: Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR

Publication date: 01 May 2002

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