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Economic Evaluation of Thinning Alternatives in a Western Hemlock-Sitka Spruce Forest

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As part of a multidisciplinary study on managing young western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)-Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) stands in the Pacific Northwest, a present net worth analysis of thinning impacts on financial returns at final harvest was completed. Two 32-year-old precommercially thinned stands were selectively and strip thinned with a skyline logging system, and stand growth was projected to rotation age 70 years with a stand-table projection model. A harvest simulation model was then used to estimate harvest costs and revenues from clearcutting at rotation age. Regardless of model assumptions, present net worth was highest for the control (no thinning). A sensitivity analysis of variations from base-case assumptions did not alter the outcome. Study results suggest that if density of managed western hemlock-Sitka spruce stands has been sufficiently controlled with precommercial thinning, they will develop adequately to a rotation-age harvest without intermediate thinning. West. J. Appl. For. 3(1):14-17, January 1988.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: 1988-01-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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