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Forest Management under Fire Risk when Forest Carbon Sequestration Has Value

  • Couture, Stéphane
  • Reynaud, Arnaud

In this paper, we develop a multiple forest use model to determine the optimal harvest date for a forest stand producing both timber and carbon benefits under a risk of fire. The preferences of the representative non-industrial private forest (NIPF) owner are modeled though an expected utility specification. We introduce saving as a decision of the forest owner at any time. The problems of forest management and saving decisions are solved simultaneously using a stochastic dynamic programming method. A numerical programming method is used to characterize the optimal forest and saving policies. We apply this framework to model the behavior of a representative NIPF owner located in the Southwest of France. The empirical application indicates that a higher risk of fire will decrease the optimal rotation period, while higher carbon prices will increase the optimal harvesting age. We show that increasing the risk of fire leads to a reduction in rotation duration. On the contrary, a higher carbon price makes carbon sequestration more profitable, thereby leading to increasing the rotation duration. We then show how the carbon price/risk of fire frontier is affected by risk aversion.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-005.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22034
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  1. Adam J. Daigneault & Mario J. Miranda & Brent Sohngen, 2010. "Optimal Forest Management with Carbon Sequestration Credits and Endogenous Fire Risk," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(1), pages 155-172.
  2. Thompson, Matthew P. & Adams, Darius & Sessions, John, 2009. "Radiative forcing and the optimal rotation age," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2713-2720, August.
  3. Gutrich, John & Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Carbon sequestration and the optimal management of New Hampshire timber stands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 441-450, May.
  4. Jonathan Yoder, 2004. "Playing with Fire: Endogenous Risk in Resource Management," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(4), pages 933-948.
  5. Gong, Peichen & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2005. "Impact of Risk Aversion on Optimal Rotation Age," Umeå Economic Studies 666, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  6. ERKKI Koskela & MARKKU Ollikainen, 1997. "Optimal Design of Forest Taxation with Multiple-Use Characteristics of Forest Stands," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(1), pages 41-62, July.
  7. Alvarez, Luis H.R. & Koskela, Erkki, 2006. "Does risk aversion accelerate optimal forest rotation under uncertainty?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 171-184, December.
  8. Guitart, A. Bussoni & Rodriguez, L.C. Estraviz, 2010. "Private valuation of carbon sequestration in forest plantations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 451-458, January.
  9. Hartman, Richard, 1976. "The Harvesting Decision When a Standing Forest Has Value," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(1), pages 52-58, March.
  10. Englin, Jeffrey E. & Boxall, Peter C. & Hauer, Grant, 2000. "An Empirical Examination Of Optimal Rotations In A Multiple-Use Forest In The Presence Of Fire Risk," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 25(01), July.
  11. Reed, William J., 1984. "The effects of the risk of fire on the optimal rotation of a forest," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 180-190, June.
  12. Stavins, Robert & Newell, Richard, 1999. "Climate Change and Forest Sinks: Factors Affecting the Costs of Carbon Sequestration," Discussion Papers dp-99-31-rev, Resources For the Future.
  13. Asante, Patrick & Armstrong, Glen W. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2011. "Carbon sequestration and the optimal forest harvest decision: A dynamic programming approach considering biomass and dead organic matter," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-17, January.
  14. Cairns, Robert D. & Lasserre, Pierre, 2006. "Implementing carbon credits for forests based on green accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 610-621, April.
  15. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, August.
  16. Pohjola, J. & Valsta, L., 2007. "Carbon credits and management of Scots pine and Norway spruce stands in Finland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(7), pages 789-798, April.
  17. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
  18. COUTURE Stephane & REYNAUD Arnaud, 2006. "Multi-stand Forest Management Under a Climatic Risk: Do time and Risk Preferences Matter?," LERNA Working Papers 06.17.210, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  19. Gregory S. Amacher & Arun S. Malik & Robert G. Haight, 2005. "Not Getting Burned: The Importance of Fire Prevention in Forest Management," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
  20. Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2004. "Taxation and Rotation Age under Stochastic Forest Stand Value," CESifo Working Paper Series 1211, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Seppo Salo & Olli Tahvonen, 2004. "Renewable Resources with Endogenous Age Classes and Allocation of Land," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 513-530.
  22. Tahvonen, Olli & Salo, Seppo, 1999. "Optimal Forest Rotation within SituPreferences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 106-128, January.
  23. Graeme Guthrie & Dinesh Kumareswaran, 2009. "Carbon Subsidies, Taxes and Optimal Forest Management," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 275-293, June.
  24. Benitez, Pablo C. & Obersteiner, Michael, 2006. "Site identification for carbon sequestration in Latin America: A grid-based economic approach," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 636-651, August.
  25. Tassone, Valentina C. & Wesseler, Justus & Nesci, Francesco S., 2004. "Diverging incentives for afforestation from carbon sequestration: an economic analysis of the EU afforestation program in the south of Italy," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 567-578, October.
  26. Richard E. Howitt & Siwa Msangi & Arnaud Reynaud & Keith C. Knapp, 2005. "Estimating Intertemporal Preferences for Natural Resource Allocation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 969-983.
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