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    Description

    Forest landowners, managers, loggers, land-use planners, and other decision and policy-makers need to understand the opportunity costs and ecological benefits associated with different widths of streamside management zones (SMZs). In this paper, a simulation model was used to assess the opportunity costs of SMZ retention for four different logging systems, two mature hardwood stands, and five levels of streamside zone protection. Results from this assessment suggest that protection costs range from $252 to $1,659/ha depending on the SMZ width, the logging technology used to harvest the timber, and the species composition of the tract. A literature review was used to score the ability of different SMZ widths to protect riparian function. We quantified the economic costs and environmental benefits of SMZs. The results showed that to fully protect against post-harvest changes in riparian function, 45-m SMZs are needed. This protection will cost landowners between $30.54 and $67.02/ha/year depending on the stand type and logging technology.

    Publication Notes

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    Citation

    LeDoux, Chris B.; Wilkerson, Ethel. 2006. A case study assessing opportunity costs and ecological benefits of streamside management zones and logging systems for eastern hardwood forests. Res. Pap. NRS-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 16 p.

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    Keywords

    ecological functions, capital recovery costs, simulation, optimization, riparian zones, cost/benefit ratio

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