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    Description

    The USDA Forest Service is required to appraise timber prior to it being offered for sale. Currently the Forest Service uses a transaction evidence based approach, but concerns have been raised about availability—both in number and applicability—of timber sales used as the basis of this approach. In addition to the problem of few sales, in certain situations a notable fraction of the sales may be made at the minimum rate. This transaction evidence system and the application of a rollback factor in setting a minimum bid can result in appraised prices declining over time in areas with low competition, even though primary product prices are increasing. This study evaluates several changes that may be needed to address these concerns. The changes should be able to provide a base period price (BPP) that does not rely on local transactions. The estimated BPP could rapidly respond to change in timber and product market conditions and after local cost adjustments would provide an estimated fair market value for sales with mixes of sawtimber and nonsawtimber products. We propose use of price mark-up rules to estimate BPPs for various timber product classes. These price mark-up rules could be estimated for various geographic zones and would predict quarterly average stumpage prices for recent sales based on primary product price indexes. The mark-up equation estimates of average based period stumpage price are compared to actual high bid values for 810 recent Forest Service timber sales. The comparisons highlight a number of issues that need to be addressed and require decisions from forest management decision makers as part of implementation. These issues include selection of geographic zones where mark-up equations may be needed to estimate BPP, appropriate size of timber appraisal zones when mark-up equations are used, assignment of sawtimber and nonsawtimber volumes to appraisal groups, structure and extent of uniformity of cost adjustments, treatment of high-and low-value hardwoods, adjustments for bid premiums, and selection of rollback factors.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Haynes, Richard W.; Skog, Kenneth E.; Aubuchon, Richard. 2016. A process to establish and use base period prices for national forest system transaction evidence timber appraisal. General Technical Report, FPL-GTR-242. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 1-50.

    Keywords

    Timber appraisal, mark-up equations, base period price, bid rate, advertised rate

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/54605