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Use of Financial and Economic Analyses by Federal Forest Managers for Woody Biomass Removal

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This study was sponsored by the Joint Fire Science Program to understand and enhance the ability of federal land managers to address financial and economic (F&E) aspects of woody biomass removal as a component of fire hazard reduction. Focus groups were conducted with nearly 100 federal land managers throughout the western United States. Several issues and information disconnects were identified in two major areas: the F&E analysis process and the tools and information used for F&E analyses. The most prevalent disconnects appeared to be between managers' knowledge versus acceptance and use of F&E tools developed by research entities. Most managers also tended to focus on financial rather than economic analysis. Findings suggest needs for continually updated local timber and biomass market information; training with F&E tools and methods currently used; ongoing technical support for tools currently used; and closer communication among forest management, research, and administrative personnel as new F&E tools or administrative processes are developed and implemented.

Keywords: biomass utilization; budgets; forest economics; fuel reduction; national forests; timber harvest; transaction evidence appraisal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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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