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Economics of Thinning Study

Helping landowners learn from their peers about harvest options.

How do management decisions affect the economics of harvest outcomes? And what economic outcomes have impacts on harvest management?

Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) and Oregon State University (OSU) are collaborating on a research project to understand the range of outcomes local forest owners have achieved from timber harvests. The purpose of this study is to help landowners learn from the experiences of peers with similar forests and similar management goals for their land. We expect to publish the study in early 2022.

This page will be updated with new information and analysis throughout 2021. 

Young Stand Thinning

30 years ago, this forest was clear-cut and then replanted by an industrial timber company. The problem? Now the trees are crowded and competing for light, nutrients, and water. 

This video explains the ‘why’ and shows the ‘how’ of thinning a 30-year-old stand of Douglas-fir near Mount Rainier. Get a feel for what a harvest operation entails, and find out why thinning this forest puts it on track to be more resilient in a warmer and drier future. 

Thinning for Multiple Goals

Nisqually Community Forest is a community-owned and operated forest in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, just west of Mount Rainier.  The lands around the forest are typically clearcut at a young age.
But the Nisqually Community Forest is a managed under a different philosophy—one that balances a broad range of objectives. 


Preliminary Results

The project researchers presented preliminary results from the study at the virtual Community Forest Forum in October 2020. Check out the event recording to get a sneak peek into the research findings!

Contact the researchers

If you have any questions about this study, feel free to contact the researchers:

Klaus Puettmann is a Professor in Silviculture Alternatives with the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. Rowan Braybrook is the Director of Programs at Northwest Natural Resource Group.

This project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), under grant award 2017-68006-26394, Enabling Data-Driven Decision Making for Small Forest Producers.

This research is being conducted by Northwest Natural Resource Group and Oregon State University.

      Image result for oregon state university

Funding for this project is provided by:

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

Photos by Matt Freeman-Gleason

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