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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1979) 24(1): 47–60
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
The role of economics in forestry: The case for an independant view

R.K. Grant

At the current rate of expansion the forestry sector is becoming a significant user of the country's resources. When utilisation of the current planting commences it is likely that, as a nation, we will have insufficient resources to allow some processing options to proceed. As a nation we must insist that the forestry sector, like all other sectors, uses the rigour of economic analysis to aid in the choice of processing options and to ensure the efficient use of the resources required.
For economics to fulfil this role there needs to be less emphasis on economics as a device for measuring the exact impact of a course of action, and much greater emphasis given to its function as an interpretive tool. This requires a much closer liaison between forester and economist than there has been previously, but paradoxically requires some economists at least to be seen as independent voices rather than as advocates of the forestry sector.
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