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SOFRA and RPA: Two Views of the Future of Southern Timber Supply

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Two recent studies provide alternative views of the current state and future prospects of southern forests and timber supply: the Southern Forest Resource Assessment (SOFRA) and the Fifth Resources Planning Act Timber Assessment (RPA). Using apparently comparable data but different models and methods, the studies portray futures that in some aspects are quite similar and in others markedly different. This article focuses on what the differences and commonalities between the reports suggest about the key factors that help shape our views of the future of southern timber supply. What inputs and assumptions make important differences in projections of the South's timber supply future? We find that there are five major areas to watch: (i) gross land area shifts from forest to urban and from agriculture to forest (not just net timberland area change); (ii) the sensitivity of pine plantation investments to expected timber prices; (iii) the responsiveness of southern timber demand to prices; (iv) age or date of the starting inventory and the definition of timber harvest (what products are included); and (iv) the basic yield assumptions and the timing of the yield impacts from improved management and timberland area change. South. J. Appl. For. 29(3):123–134.

Keywords: Harvest; demand; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; models; natural resource management; natural resources; removals

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forestry Oklahoma State University Corvallis OR 97331 (541) 737-5504, Email: 2: Pacific Northwest Research Station USDA Forest Service Portland OR 97208 3: Pacific Northwest Research Station USDA Forest Service Corvallis OR 97331

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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 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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