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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Estate Planning for Forest Landowners

Family forest owners may use consulting foresters or state extension foresters for advice on the technical details of land management, but many owners shy away from seeking help with how best to pass their forest land on to the next generation. Poor estate planning — or no planning at all — can result in the next generation inheriting a tax bill that requires selling timber or the forest land itself, which in turn can lead to subdivision and development.

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