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Opportunity Costs of Managing for Wildlife Habitat in the North Central Hills Region of Mississippi

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Nonmarketed forest outputs need to be quantitatively measured and valued to project monetary gains and losses associated with varying these outputs relative to timber production. Of particular importance to many landowners is the quantity and value of timber production forgone relative to the creation or maintenance of wildlife habitat. We used scenario planning and a geographic information system to estimate potential monetary gains or losses for the North Central Hills region in Mississippi by manipulating timber growing stock to produce more or less habitat for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris). As expected, timber management–only scenarios, which maximized net present value (NPV), produced higher equivalent annual income values per hectare and allocated fewer habitat hectares for all wildlife species versus managing for wildlife habitat quality. Inclusion of fee hunting reduced cost differences between NPV only and improved wildlife habitat management scenarios. Simulations comparing management regimes maximizing NPV and optimizing wildlife habitat resulted in quantitative measures, which will be useful for land managers evaluating tradeoffs inherent in multiple-use management.

Keywords: eastern wild turkey; linear programming; northern bobwhite; white-tailed deer; wildlife habitat

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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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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