Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Optimal harvest strategy for even-aged stands with price uncertainty and risk of natural disturbances

Susaeta, Andres; Gong, Peichen

Abstract

We present a reservation price model to examine the joint impacts of natural disturbances and stumpage price uncertainty on the optimal harvesting decision for even-aged forest stands. We consider a landowner who manages a loblolly pine stand to produce timber and amenities, under age-dependent risk of wildfires and uncertainty in future timber prices. We show that the incorporation of risk of wildfires decreases the optimal reservation prices. The inclusion of risk of wildfires leads to lower land values and reduces the mean harvest age compared with the case of no-risk of wildfires. Higher economic gains are obtained with the reservation price strategy compared with the deterministic rotation age model-a difference in the land value of $2,326 ha(-1) (21%) between the two approaches. Recommendations for Resource ManagersOur adaptive harvest strategy shows that the incorporation of risk of wildfires decreases the optimal reservation prices compared with the case of no-risk of wildfires. Low reservation prices-a price that makes the landowner indifferent between harvesting or waiting longer-result in lower economic benefits for landowners and potential conversions of lands to nonforest use. Forest management practices oriented to reduce the effects of catastrophic disturbances, for example, creating a more complex forest structure with different stand densities, become imperative to ensure the sustainability of forestlands in the US South. Our analysis also suggests that the valuation of forestry investments should consider not only the risk of catastrophic events but also uncertainty in future timber prices. Higher appraisals of land value are obtained when timber price uncertainty is explicitly recognized, providing financial incentives for landowners to invest in forestry.

Keywords

adaptive harvest strategy; forest fire; natural disturbances; optimal harvest age; reservation price

Published in

Natural Resource Modeling
2019, Volume: 32, number: 3, article number: e12211Publisher: WILEY

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG13 Climate action
    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science
    Economics

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/nrm.12211

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/101488