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Impact of Harvest-Level Changes on Carbon Accumulation and Timber Stumpage Prices in Mississippi

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While implementation of carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation policies may promote an increased forest-based carbon sequestration, this will likely change future timber-harvest levels and impact financially the entire forest sector. This study projected carbon accumulation in Mississippi's forests, timber stumpage prices, and timber and carbon revenues during 2006‐2051 for a business-as-usual (BAU) and four alternative timber-harvest scenarios representing varying harvest levels possibly induced by a CO2 mitigating policy. Results indicated a potential to increase forest carbon accumulation by up to 197 teragrams (Tg) by 2051 (34% more than in the BAU scenario). The alternative harvest scenarios resulted in real timber stumpage price increases in the short term (1‐35 years), whereas in the long-term (36‐45 years), timber prices decreased. In the alternative harvest scenarios, the present value of harvested timber and carbon revenues ranged from US$6.47 billion to US$8.18 billion at a carbon price of US$2.07 per ton (t) of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and from US$7.35 billion to US$11.08 billion at US$15.00/tCO2e, which was higher than in the BAU harvest scenario (US$4.96 billion). The analysis suggested that forest landowners will benefit from CO2 mitigating policies that pay for sequestering carbon because of carbon revenues and potentially higher timber revenues due to increased stumpage prices.
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Keywords: CO2 mitigation; forest carbon; timber harvest; timber revenues; timber stumpage price; wood products carbon

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-08-01

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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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