Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

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  • This study focuses on the tradeoffs that exist for managing forested landscapes for biodiversity and timber production. Tradeoff evaluation is important to natural resource managers so they can understand the benefits and costs of alternative management prescriptions. The study examines three watersheds in the Oregon Coast Range and 166 terrestrial vertebrate species to determine the productive capacity of the site in terms of biodiversity and timber revenue. Two points are identified that maximize biodiversity and maximize timber revenue that serve as corner solutions for the production possibilities frontier for biodiversity and timber revenue. The frontier identifies all combinations of outputs that are equal in productive efficiency and the slope of the frontier identifies the marginal cost of biodiversity in terms of foregone timber revenue. A special case is then examined that reenacts the proposed management intentions of each ownership group in the study area. The special case model is used to examine the level of efficiency that exists with respect to the productive possibilities frontier. The results of the study indicate that there is a high level of inefficiency in the proposed management intentions of the various ownership groups. Higher levels of revenues can be achieved at the same level of biodiversity. Conversely more biodiversity can be produced at the same level of revenue. Marginal cost analysis also showed that biodiversity comes at an increasingly high cost at the extreme end of the productive capability of the study area. Results also indicate the species that are most affected by management activities are those that require large home ranges (> 200 acres) and species that are the most taxonomically unique.
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