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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1983) 28(2): 163–175
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
An economic study of early clearfelling of imperfectly managed stands in Otago Coast and Berwick State Forests.

L. A. J. Hunter and B. Everts

Certain stands in Otago Coast and Berwick State Forests which had received little or no silviculture owing to heavy gorse infestation were the object of an early clearfelling proposal for the supply of industrial wood. An economic analysis was undertaken to determine the price at which the forest grower would be indifferent between early clearfelling and allowing the stands to reach maturity (the laissez-faire choice). The method retains in essence the usual DCF format, but substitutes the concept of Current Net Worth (CNW) for the customary present value at the start of the rotation. Sensitivity analyses were conducted on the discount rate, the rotation length and the felling revenues.

Results showed that the "indifference" stumpage for early clearfelled material was minimised at between $8/m and $12/m when the decision to early clearfell was made between the 13th and 18th year of age. At the time of the study these stumpages were high, but more recently actual examples have been recorded in other regions. The method may be useful for local situations, but care should be exercised in extending results to larger areas.

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