Regulatory requirements to protect habitat have increased, requiring forest managers to include measures of biodiversity, habitat, and streamside protection in their plans.
A demonstration of environmental and economic effects for a range of timber management alternatives was developed for western Washington. Integration of timber growth and yield models with habitat models in a mathematical programming framework was used to produce the biological and economic measures associated with different management strategies. Experimental choice analysis among management alternatives was then used to develop public preference values for measures of forest biodiversity, aesthetics, rural job losses, and costs as surrogates for the economic-environmental tradeoffs.
Results showed that regulations and proposals that focus on preservation without considering long term motivation to produce non-market forest amenities result in significantly less value to the public and less equitable treatment across urban and timber rural communities than do alternatives that seek to jointly produce timber and non-market amenities.