Analysis of Wood Resource Availability in the Northeast U.S.
With grant support from the Northeast States Research Cooperative (NSRC), Principle Investigator Jennifer Hushaw (INRS) and Co-PI Mark Ducey (UNH), conducted a spatial analysis of potential barriers to timber accessibility in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Not all standing timber is actually accessible for harvest and these results can help improve the accuracy of wood supply assessments in the region by putting quantitative data behind common model assumptions. For an overview of this project and the results, please read this 3-page synopsis:
Detailed documentation of the spatial datasets, including data sources and methodology, can be found here
Integration with the Northern Forest Biomass Project Evaluator (NFBPE)
The results of this analysis have also been incorporated into the NFBPE wood supply modeling tool. A new feature allows users to see the percentage of land (in the counties of their study area) that falls under different categories of reduced accessibility, e.g. riparian buffers, high elevation, steep slopes. These data can then be used to guide the selection of key assumptions in the model.
Click to download the updated version of the BPE tool
(For additional information about downloading and running BPE, go here.) A short video tutorial with instructions about how to use the new features and interpret the accessibility data- Click here
All results of this analysis are available for download, including binary input spatial data layers representing presence/absence of potential harvest barriers, summaries by town (in tabular and spatial form), counties summaries (in tabular form), final maps combining all input data layers, and maps of parcelization in the region.
A note about interpreting these results:
None of the variables examined in this analysis should be considered absolute barriers to timber harvest; rather, they represent conditions that can increase the environmental, social, or financial costs of forestry operations—potentially reducing timber accessibility.
These barriers can be overcome under the right circumstances, such as the presence of high-quality timber, strong timber prices, and/or sufficient resources to invest in logging infrastructure. (Northern Maine is a prime example of a region with a robust forest products industry that was highlighted in this analysis as having relatively reduced accessibility)