Category: Ecological Research
Title: Projected Economic Impacts of a 16-Inch Tree Cutting Cap for Ponderosa Pine Forests Within the Greater Flagstaff Urban-Wildlands
Author: Larson, D.S. , Mirth, R.
Subject: Grand Canyon, Diameter caps, Fort Valley Experiment Station, Economics, Urban Interface, Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)
Abstract: The Grand Canyon Forest Partnership (GCFP), located in Flagstaff, AZ, has implemented a 16-inch diameter breast height cutting cap in the Fort Valley Restoration (Phase One) Project to secure the support of environmental organizations for urban interface forest restoration and fuels reduction projects. This paper provides insights into the economic impacts of this limitation by applying a simulated cap to realistic inventory, logging, and revenue models developed from an earlier representative project—the GCFP’s 332-acre Fort Valley Research and Demonstration (R&D) project. The simulation was possible on only four of the nine R&D units, as these were the only units that had trees greater than or equal to 16-inch d.b.h. available for cutting. The simulated cutting cap resulted in implementation cost increases of 5 to 19.4 percent, harvested fiber decreases of 10 to 39 percent on a volume basis, and reductions in operator net returns ranging from 22.3 to 176 percent. The primary market for harvested material, at the time of this analysis, was low-value firewood and pallet stock that was supplemented by occasional sales to high-value users of large diameter logs. The 16-inch cap limited the operators’ ability to broker logs to these large diameter users (for example, small volume viga manufacturers located in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area) who would pay upward of $200 per ccf. Projections showed, however, that under more favorable market conditions, such as that of a regional pulp mill or oriented strand board plant, the operators (and consequently the GCFP) could better sustain, economically, the 16-inch cutting cap.
Source: USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-22
Publisher: USDA Forest Service