Market Definition For Hardwood Timber in the Southern Appalachians
Direct estimation of aggregate hardwood supply is seriously complicated by the diversity of prices, species, and site conditions in hardwood stands. An alternative approach is to aggregate regional supply based on stumpage values of individual stands, arguably the real driver of harvest decisions. Complicating this approach is that species-specific prices are only available for logs delivered to the mill. To derive stumpage values, delivered prices must be reduced by the costs of harvesting and transport to the mill; hence, the spatial characteristics of the market may be important in defining the aggregate timber supply responsiveness to price. This paper represents an intermediate step in estimating an aggregate supply model for hardwood timber, where we tested the more limited hypothesis that harvest probability and hence stand age is positively related to timber value and negatively related to factors which reduce timber value. We regressed stand age on distances to three types of mills, slope of site, distance from the stand to the nearest road, site quality, and broad management type. We found that stand age increases with distance from mills for NIPF-, industry-, and government-managed stands in the Southern Appalachians. Stand age is negatively related to site quality, positively related to slope of stand, and not significantly affected by distance from the stand to the nearest mad. Stand ages also vary by broad management type.