ANALYSISSustainable management of uneven-aged private forests: a case study from Ontario, Canada
Review articleOpen access

AbstractA matrix growth model is estimated on the basis of growth data (growth period 5 years) of 14 measurement plots of uneven-aged white pine from southern Ontario. The impact of three economic factors specific to the private forests on the sustainable management of private woodlots is evaluated and discussed, and the trade-off between environmental and economic values is examined. These three economic factors are: (1) choice of the rate of time preference; (2) income and property taxes; and (3) subsidy for rehabilitation of degraded forests. Property tax, based on market price of land, is neutral, but income tax is not neutral with respect to harvesting decisions, growing stock, environmental and ecological values, and economic values. High rates of time preference and income tax will lead to the conversion of uneven-aged forest into even-aged young forest leading to the loss of ecological and environmental values. As a result of the discrete nature of tree distribution and prices of different size trees, increased income tax rates may not result in higher tax revenue. The fiscal policies need be sensitive to the nature of forests to encourage sustainable management practices on private woodlots. In the case of degraded private woodlots, a subsidy on rehabilitation cost will be desirable in place of property tax subsidy.

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