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Habitat and commodity production trade-offs in coastal Oregon


  • Bettinger, Pete
  • Boston, Kevin


Ecological, economic, and social goals are important in natural resource management, and should be analyzed in concert when, for example, one wishes to consider the impact(s) of potential forest policies on such goals. The current article describes a large-scale, integrated trade-off analysis, for coastal Oregon (USA). It considers two key management goals for both private and public forest landowners--producing timber and developing and maintaining wildlife habitat--using variations on typical management policies. The proposed model employs a heuristic to schedule harvests in an attempt to produce a high, even level of timber volume. Constraints include those related to the maximum clearcut size, green-up period, and minimum harvest age. Habitat capability for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is computed using a spatial model, and reported as an output of the forest plan. The spatial model we used is the most advanced methodology for estimating spotted owl habitat quality. The problem formulation accounts for many of the concerns regarding strategic and tactical planning voiced by forest managers in the Pacific Northwest (USA) region. Our analysis suggests that increasing the minimum harvest age of forests in coastal Oregon has the greatest effect (vs. maximum clearcut size and minimum green-up [regrowth] period) on spotted owl habitat capability index levels. At the same time, however, even-flow harvest levels (highest and most even level of timber volume produced over time) are negatively affected as near-term harvests become more difficult to schedule.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettinger, Pete & Boston, Kevin, 2008. "Habitat and commodity production trade-offs in coastal Oregon," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 112-128, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:42:y:2008:i:2:p:112-128

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nalle, Darek J. & Montgomery, Claire A. & Arthur, Jeffrey L. & Polasky, Stephen & Schumaker, Nathan H., 2004. "Modeling joint production of wildlife and timber," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 997-1017, November.
    2. Nieuwenhuis, Maarten & Tiernan, Dermot, 2005. "The impact of the introduction of sustainable forest management objectives on the optimisation of PC-based forest-level harvest schedules," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 689-701, May.
    3. Los, Marc & Lardinois, Christian, 1982. "Combinatorial programming, statistical optimization and the optimal transportation network problem," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 89-124, April.
    4. Kangas, Jyrki & Store, Ron & Kangas, Annika, 2005. "Socioecological landscape planning approach and multicriteria acceptability analysis in multiple-purpose forest management," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 603-614, May.
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