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Minimizing the Cost of Stand Level Management for Older Forest Structure in Western Oregon

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The area of old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest is estimated to have declined dramatically from historical levels. Active management involving repeated thinning that leaves substantially fewer trees than a typical commercial thin has been proposed as a way to speed the development of older forest structure in the region. This study uses a random search heuristic and an individual tree simulation model, ORGANON, to search for cost-effective old forest management regimes for a wide range of stand types that occur on private land in western Oregon. The regimes were designed to meet older forest structural criteria, as defined by the Oregon Department of Forestry, for 30 years prior to clearcut harvest. The opportunity cost of managing for older forest structure was estimated for each stand type as the value of forgone timber production under maximum net present value management. Opportunity cost was found to be positively correlated with site quality, stand age, and stocking. Cost-effective management for older forest structure is important because the lower the cost of conservation, the more likely it will occur. West. J. Appl. For. 19(4):221–231.
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Keywords: Sustainable forestry; environmental management; forest; forest economics; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Resources Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331 Phone: (541) 737-5533, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Forest Resources Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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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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