Current forest management intensity and cost associated with major forestry practices in Arkansas, USA

Main Article Content

Sagar Godar Chhetri https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3577-9304
Matthew Pelkki https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4588-1310

Keywords

consulting foresters, family forest owners, industrial or corporate forest, forest management, cost

Abstract

Arkansas’ forestlands are largely owned by private landowners: family, industrial or corporate forest landowners (5.1 million hectares; 67%). Family forest landowners own 4.4 million hectares of forestland (58%). The costs of forestry practices influence landowners’ decisions in forest management. However, state-specific costs for forestry activities are not readily available. The study aims to compare the forest management objectives between family and industrial or corporate forest landowners and also provide robust information about forest management intensity and the unit cost associated with those activities. We employed an online survey to 318 consulting foresters working in the state. In addition, we used Forest Inventory and Analysis dataset in ArcMap (10.8.1) to validate the survey result. Among various forestry practices, landowners requested various services from consulting foresters, including chemical site preparation, thinning, timber cruising and marking, and timber inventory. The unit cost for mechanical site preparation was the highest among several forestry practices, and these costs varied based on forest types. Various stakeholders can utilize the study findings from landowners, forest industries, and policymakers in forest investment decision-making, which can improve sustainable forest management.

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