Tradeoffs Between Forestry Resource and Conservation Values Under Alternate Forest Policy Regimes: A Spatial Analysis of the Western Canadian Boreal Plains

An important element of resource management and conservation is an understanding of the tradeoffs between marketed products such as timber and measures of environmental quality such as biodiversity. In this paper, we develop an integrated economic – ecological spatial optimization model. The integrated model incorporates dynamic forest sector harvesting, oil and gas sector development, coarse filter or habitat based old-forest indicators, and a set of empirical forest bird models that predict bird abundance. Using our integrated model, economic tradeoff curves, or production possibility frontiers, are developed that illustrate the cost of achieving coarse filter targets by a set time (50 years) within a 100 year time horizon. We explore the production possibility frontier’s relationship to the natural range of variation of old growth habitat. Our analysis illustrates the use of ecological criteria like the natural range of variation in providing guidance for the choice of preferred location on the frontier. Keywords: Production possibility frontier, forest management, biodiversity, optimization, tradeoffs.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-26

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