- LOCCOST is an interactive computer program that
predicts stump to mill logging costs, stumpage and net
present value of a harvest based on stand data, pond value
and logging parameters, entered by the user. The program is
intended for use by foresters to evaluate the economics of
different stand management strategies. It is also useful in
deciding whether commercial thinning of existing stands is
profitable. The current version is designed for use in
southwestern Idaho, but minor changes could be made which
would extend the applicability to other parts of the USDA,
Forest Service, Intermountain Region.
Approximately two minutes is required to enter data,
and program execution takes approximately 15 seconds, using
an IBM Personal Computer. LOCCOST is compiled in BASIC and
will run on microcomputers that have at least 256K RAM and
are IBM compatible. Documentation of the model and a Users'
Guide are included in the Appendices.
Felling and bucking, as well as yarding production,
computed by LOCCOST compared favorably with other studies.
Stump to truck logging costs are significantly lower than
the cost estimated by the Intermountain Region Timber
Preliminary testing of this harvest cost model, using
stand data from the Boise National Forest in southwestern
Idaho, suggests that the model is sensitive to such
variables as tree size, species, volume per acre cut,
logging system, terrain, and distance to the mill.
Differences in thinning intensity, and past stand
history (precommercial thinning) also result in differences
in harvest cost per mbf, when modeled by LOCCOST. The
results of alternative stand management strategies tested
suggest that precommercial thinning may be necessary to
produce profitable stands on average sites, if rotations
less than 100 years are desired.