Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Forest Resources

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Straka, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Christopher Post

Committee Member

Dr. Susan Loeb

Abstract

Providing early successional habitat as a conservation technique has become an increasingly important issue within the natural resource management field. The purpose of this paper was to provide an economic analysis of establishing different early successional habitat management regimes focused on increasing biodiversity within the study area. An economic model was created using parameters that were based on harvesting costs, management costs, and revenue differences between five different prescriptions within the Nantahala National Forest in Western North Carolina. These prescriptions differed in terms of acreage and distance between the individual cuts. We found that the smaller dispersed prescriptions were the most costly to conduct on a per acre basis and also provided the least amount of revenue. This resulted in the two smallest prescriptions having the lowest Net Present Value (NPV). All other prescriptions were very similar in terms of NPV. This information can be used to minimize financial losses while catering to wildlife species that prefer early successional habitat in addition to increasing overall biodiversity.

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