This paper offers a preliminary investigation into the conditions under which it might be optimal to engage in proactive management of a non-timber forest resource in the presence of an invasive species whose spread is unaffected by management action. Proactive management is defined as treating an uninfected area in order to encourage healthy ecosystem function, given that the arrival of the invasive is inevitable. Inspired by the problem of white pine blister rust in the Rocky Mountain west, the model was solved under varying assumptions concerning the scale of management action, benefit and costs, the discount rate, and uncertainty of spread. Results showed that proactive strategies tended to be optimal when, ceteris paribus, a) more resources are available for treatment; b) the costs of treatment are rapidly increasing in forest health, or conversely, the benefits of healthy and unhealthy stands are relatively similar; and c) the discount rate is low. The introduction of uncertainty did not significantly affect the likelihood of a proactive management strategy being optimal, but did show that the conditional probabilities of infection play important role in the decision of which uninfected stand should be treated if a choice is available to the manager.


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