The forest rotation problem
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The forest rotation problem book
As discussed in Chapter 6, the primary reasons for family forest landowners to own forestland are esthetics, privacy, recreation, and protecting nature.1 Near the bottom of reasons for forestland ownership is the generation of income from timber sales (Butler and Leatherberry 2004; Belin et al. 2005; Hagan et al. 2005; Butler 2008 and 2010). Nonetheless, these owners can still be considered as maximizers; that is, their behavior is consistent with maximizing the net value of their forestland ownership that includes timber and non-timber net values.2 One of the primary tools a landowner can use to manipulate forested ecosystems in a sustainable manner to produce timber and non-timber goods and services (e.g. water quality and quantity, recreation, wildlife, carbon storage, and mushrooms, etc.) is to cut trees according to a sustainable forest management plan.3 To analyze a landowner’s decision of when to cut their trees, I will start with a simple case assuming the primary reason for forestland ownership is income from timber sales. I will then relax this assumption to include other non-timber ownership goals and examine the impact on a landowner’s cutting decision.