Forest Productivity and Timber Supply Modeling in the South
The South can increase forest productivity on industrial and nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) lands. As timber markets have improved and timber prices have increased, returns from intensive management are more profitable. The interaction of timber markets, inventory, and prices are analyzed in new southern timber supply models sponsored by the Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium (SOFAC). Current SOFAC efforts have focused on integrating southern models and model inputs with the national Renewable Resource Planning Act (RPA) timber assessment. SOFAC researchers have developed timber supply models that can analyze timber markets trends at the subregional (survey unit) level. Growth and yield analyses prepared for the RPA indicate that substantial increases in timber productivity can occur given current technology, if fully implemented. A survey about NIPF land management practices indicates that considerable adoption of increased management intensities is projected to occur. Even higher intensities can occur on forest industry lands in the South. If these potentials are realized, we will be able to provide adequate pine pulpwood supplies at reasonable prices in the future. Highquality softwoods and hardwoods will be less plentiful. Hardwood timber supply will be relatively scarcer in the future, as reflected in increasing real prices, despite having almost 5O% more standing inventory than softwoods currently.