University of California

An economic model for selecting Douglas-fir reforestation projects


Joseph Buongiorno
Dennis E. Teeguarden

Authors Affiliations

Joseph Buongiorno was formerly Research Assistant, School of Forestry and Conservation, Berkeley, is now Forest Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy; Dennis E. Teeguarden was Professor of Forestry in the School of Forestry and Conservation, Forester in the Agricultural Experiment Station, and Associate Economist of the Giannini Foundation, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 42(3):35-120. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v42n03p035. July 1973.

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This study presents an economic model for designing and selecting an optimal reforestation program. Given an initial set of resource and policy constraints, the model permits the user to select simultaneously the best set of reforestation projects to execute, the method of reforestation to employ, and the best initial stocking in new plantations. The model was developed for use by managers of large-scale, public land reforestation programs in the Douglas-fir Region of the Western United States.

Results of the study include a package of linked computer programs which provides a completely automated procedure for designing and selecting a reforestation program. The programs have the following functions:

The first program, FOREST, simulates a regime of harvests in plantations consistent with the goal of maximizing present net worth subject to specified constraints. It also generates a set of production functions which describe in terms of present net worth per acre the relationship between number of trees at age ten years and the cost of obtaining that number of trees.

The second program, REGEN II, first calculates the present net worth per acre of alternative reforestation techniques (hand planting, aerial seeding, and natural regeneration) which can be applied to a particular tract of land. Then the same program uses a linear programming model to select the set of tracts, techniques, and initial stocking density which maximizes the present net worth of the whole reforestation program within a set of multiple constraints imposed by available projects, budget, seeds, and seedlings.

A third program, FINAL, lists all projects recommended for reforestation in the current year, method of treatment, seeding density or initial spacing in plantations scheduled for hand planting, and resource requirements.

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Buongiorno J, Teeguarden D. 1973. An economic model for selecting Douglas-fir reforestation projects. Hilgardia 42(3):35-120. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v42n03p035
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