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Network-Based Resource-Proximity Analysis of Primary Wood Processing Mills in Arkansas

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Primary wood processing mills in Arkansas play a vital role in both the state and the national economy, as evidenced by Arkansas' high national ranking in lumber productivity. Log acquisition from forestlands is invariably constrained by suitability of terrain and road networks; hence, an accurate assessment of the sufficiency of timberlands in servicing mills based on the existing road network and cost-effective log-truck travel time is essential for planning for the future. Many different analyses were carried out on an ArcInfo 9.3.1 workstation to delineate cost-effective sawmill service areas (SSA), timber supply areas (TSA), agricultural lands, and the overlaps that exist between these land patches. Zonal area summation of the land patches was analyzed with a two-sample paired t-test. Results indicated that there were significant pairwise differences (P < 0.0001) in the extent of SSA and TSA, SSA and SSA within TSA, SSA without agricultural lands and SSA within TSA, agricultural lands with SSA, and agricultural lands without SSA. This study indicated that a significant portion (10%) of agricultural lands must be used for optimal stocking of the delineated cost-effective SSA. Furthermore, this study revealed the suitable areas in Arkansas where there are clusters of residual timberlands that can serve as a raw material supply base for new mills.

Keywords: forest products; geoprocessing; network analysis; sawmills; timberlands

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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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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