Our mission is to evaluate legal, tax, social, and economic influences on forest resource management and investment, and to develop guidelines that will support the sustainable management of forests.

The most recent mission for SRS-4804 is to improve the economic foundation for natural resource policy and management through research in the following problem areas:

  1. Economics of Forest Disturbances — Develop joint economic-ecological knowledge of forest disturbance processes (wildfires, insect outbreaks, severe storms) across multiple temporal and spatial scales and understand how policy and management interventions affect economic outcomes under current and changing climatic conditions.
  2. Forest Policies, Programs and Taxes — Evaluate policies, programs and taxes that influence forests, forest landowners, forest management, and forest ecosystem services.
  3. Forest Products Markets and Trade — Develop fundamental economic knowledge on the supply and demand conditions for forest products across multiple scales and understand how international trade affects timber product markets in the U.S.
  4. Forest Ecosystem Services Economics and Policy — Develop fundamental economic knowledge of the supply and demand of market and non-market ecosystem services provided by forests to assist in the development of policies at the local, regional and national levels.

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Women in Science: C. Meghan Downes

Meet Cara (Meghan) Downes a research economist who recently joined the Southern Research Station Economics and Policy unit at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC. Downes received her doctorate in Environmental and Resource Economics from the University of New Mexico. Prior to coming to work for the FS, Downes was the Associate Professor of Economics at New Mexico State University (NMSU).

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