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    Author(s): Mark Rickenbach; Thomas W. Steele
    Date: 2006
    Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36:186-194
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: North Central Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (92.51 KB)

    Description

    Increasing forest parcelization has raised concerns about tract-size economies and sustainable timber supply. We explored this issue by examining the logging sector and forest ownership in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Using 2004 survey data, we found that 48% of logging firms demonstrated a near exclusive reliance on nonindustrial private forests (NIPFs). NIPF-dependent firms derived 87.5% of their stumpage from this ownership, whereas nondependent firms exhibited a significantly more diversified stumpage supply distributed among public (42.6%), industrial?corporate (33.3%), and NIPF (24.0%) sources. Additionally, NIPF-dependent firms operated on significantly fewer, smaller, and less intensely harvested timber sales, and they were more likely to harvest small tracts profitably. There were no significant differences in the forest products harvested or overall firm profitability. We found statistical evidence that NIPF-dependent and nondependent firms organize themselves differently: NIPF dependency was negatively correlated with total number of employees, timberland area in the firm's wood basket, and firm location and positively correlated with owner age. Results suggest the impacts of parcelization on the logging sector are minimal. NIPF-dependent firms appear to have structured themselves to operate profitably; however, it is unclear how continued parcelization might influence these firms and the sector as a whole.

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    Citation

    Rickenbach, Mark; Steele, Thomas W. 2006. Logging firms, nonindustrial private forests, and forest parcelization: evidence of firm specialization and its impact on sustainable timber supply. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36:186-194

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