Considerable interest has arisen in the relation between timber-selling procedures and the accomplishment of timber-selling objectives on public lands in the West. Procedures of public agencies for measuring and paying for timber by log scale or by lump sum have attracted special attention. There are significant differences in the two procedures. In log-scale timber selling, an estimate is made of the volume of merchantable timber in the standing trees on the tract to be sold. The purchaser agrees to pay a specific amount for each unit of merchantable volume he removes from the tract. That is, each tree or portion of a tree removed from the tract is measured (scaled) and the purchaser pays only for the merchantable volume he actually removes. In lump-sum timber selling, an estimate is made of the volume of merchantable timber in the standing trees on the tract to be sold. The purchaser agrees to pay a specific amount for the entire tract. He pays no more nor less than that amount, no matter how much merchantable timber he actually removes from the tract. Thus, the amount a purchaser pays and the seller receives for the timber will vary between the two procedures depending on the accuracy of measurement and the extent to which the purchaser cuts and removes volume from the tract (Table 1). Merits and shortcomings of the two procedures have been debated at great length. Arguments for and against the two procedures are heard frequently-not all are necessarily valid.
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