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WOODSHED ANALYSIS Addison County Five Towns Analysis by Marc Lapin, Chris Rodgers, & David Brynn Winter/Spring 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "WOODSHED ANALYSIS Addison County Five Towns Analysis by Marc Lapin, Chris Rodgers, & David Brynn Winter/Spring 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 WOODSHED ANALYSIS Addison County Five Towns Analysis by Marc Lapin, Chris Rodgers, & David Brynn Winter/Spring 2009

2 Purpose To model the forest landbase suitable for sustainable harvest of forest biomass, and to estimate low-quality wood production on that landbase

3 General Methods Determine forestland sustainability criterion that can be utilized for spatial modeling Determine forestland sustainability criterion that can be utilized for spatial modeling Construct spatial model to evaluate the landscape Construct spatial model to evaluate the landscape Calculate the low-quality wood growth on the suitable forest landbase by applying several forest growth estimates to the suitable acreage Calculate the low-quality wood growth on the suitable forest landbase by applying several forest growth estimates to the suitable acreage

4 Sustainability Criteria Applicable to Spatial Modeling Ecological criteria for sustainability refer to forest health, productive capacity, soil and water, biodiversity, and carbon and nutrient budgets

5 Soils Soils Forestland Value Group Forestland Value Group Exclude two least productive groups, representing limited & very limited forestry potential (available from NRCS soils surveys) Slope Slope Exclude slopes >60% Separate slopes 30-60%, which may present sustainability/operability constraints

6 Water Quality and Wetlands Water Quality and Wetlands Exclude water bodies and wetlands Exclude water bodies and wetlands Exclude 75’ buffered area surrounding all water and wetlands Exclude 75’ buffered area surrounding all water and wetlands Fragile and ‘Significant’ Natural Communities Fragile and ‘Significant’ Natural Communities Exclude all lands above 2,500’ elevation Exclude all lands above 2,500’ elevation No reliable spatial data for significant natural communities, therefore exclude 10% of landbase to account for such features as well as for the forest access road network No reliable spatial data for significant natural communities, therefore exclude 10% of landbase to account for such features as well as for the forest access road network

7 Conserved Lands Conserved Lands Exclude all lands where timber extraction is legally prohibited Exclude all lands where timber extraction is legally prohibited Separate publically owned lands from privately owned lands for information purposes Separate publically owned lands from privately owned lands for information purposes Conserved lands GIS layer, GAP Protection Level data utilized Conserved lands GIS layer, GAP Protection Level data utilized

8 Suitable Forestlands Results 60% forested 60% forested 52% of forestlands suitable = 42,100 acres 52% of forestlands suitable = 42,100 acres 84% of suitable landbase privately owned 84% of suitable landbase privately owned 9% forested landbase legally protected from extraction 9% forested landbase legally protected from extraction 10% subtraction leaves 37,900 acres available 10% subtraction leaves 37,900 acres available

9 Excluded Lands by Criterion Percentages include ‘overlap’ among criteria Water, wetlands & their buffers – 8.5% Water, wetlands & their buffers – 8.5% Forestland value group – 36.6% Forestland value group – 36.6% Elevation – 5.4% Elevation – 5.4% Slopes >60% – 0.9% Slopes >60% – 0.9% Potentially unsuitable slopes – 9% Potentially unsuitable slopes – 9%

10 BRISTOL Small amount of suitable forest Small amount of suitable forest May be more than shown on less sloping parts of Hogback May be more than shown on less sloping parts of Hogback Most public land in wilderness protection Most public land in wilderness protection

11 LINCOLN Large acreage of suitable private forest landbase Large acreage of suitable private forest landbase Large amount suitable public lands Large amount suitable public lands Few areas with % slopes Few areas with % slopes Very small percentage with conservation easements Very small percentage with conservation easements

12 MONKTON Some moderate- sized patches of suitable forest Some moderate- sized patches of suitable forest Perhaps more than shown on less sloping areas of Hogback Perhaps more than shown on less sloping areas of Hogback Very small percentage with conservation easements Very small percentage with conservation easements

13 NEW HAVEN Mostly farmland with some large wetlands Mostly farmland with some large wetlands Very little suitable forest Very little suitable forest Small percentage with conservation easements Small percentage with conservation easements

14 STARKSBORO Large acreage of suitable forest Large acreage of suitable forest Substantial amount of 30-60% slopes Substantial amount of 30-60% slopes Small percentage with conservation easements Small percentage with conservation easements Large amount of suitable public lands Large amount of suitable public lands

15 Tree Growth Per Year Leak et al. (1987) – Northern Hardwoods modeling Leak et al. (1987) – Northern Hardwoods modeling Intensively managed – 1.7 green tons per acre Intensively managed – 1.7 green tons per acre Unmanaged – 1.2 green tons per acre Unmanaged – 1.2 green tons per acre Sherman (2007) – based on FIA plot data Sherman (2007) – based on FIA plot data Addison County – 2.6 green tons per acre Addison County – 2.6 green tons per acre Frieswyk and Widman (2000) – based FIA plot data Frieswyk and Widman (2000) – based FIA plot data 1.25 green tons per acre 1.25 green tons per acre Frank and Bjorkbom (1973) – Spruce-Fir modeling Frank and Bjorkbom (1973) – Spruce-Fir modeling Best case scenario – 1.25 green tons per acre Best case scenario – 1.25 green tons per acre

16 Estimated Low-Quality Wood Amounts in green tons/year Most conservative estimate = ~22,000 Most conservative estimate = ~22,000 Lowest growth rate, low amount low-quality Lowest growth rate, low amount low-quality Very believable Very believable Mid-range estimate = ~31,000 Mid-range estimate = ~31,000 Middle growth rate, low amount low quality Middle growth rate, low amount low quality Perhaps, with more intensive management Perhaps, with more intensive management High estimate = ~57,000 High estimate = ~57,000 Highest growth rate, high amount low quality Highest growth rate, high amount low quality Not supported by recent data Not supported by recent data

17 Unanswered Questions How much of the available and future wood in the woodshed is/will be low-quality wood whose ‘best’ use after harvest would be for burning? How much of the available and future wood in the woodshed is/will be low-quality wood whose ‘best’ use after harvest would be for burning? What is the actual growth per year? What is the actual growth per year? The models show substantial variation The models show substantial variation Without intensive field data collection in a specific woodshed, we don’t know how reliable the estimates are for any actual landscape Without intensive field data collection in a specific woodshed, we don’t know how reliable the estimates are for any actual landscape

18 Where to Place Confidence? Leak et al. model for unmanaged forests and recent FIA-based estimates coincide rather closely Leak et al. model for unmanaged forests and recent FIA-based estimates coincide rather closely Sherman growth estimates appear too high Sherman growth estimates appear too high A whole lot depends on management intensity, which depends on balancing numerous values, not merely maximizing biomass for burning A whole lot depends on management intensity, which depends on balancing numerous values, not merely maximizing biomass for burning Landowner choices are, perhaps, the greatest unknown Landowner choices are, perhaps, the greatest unknown

19 What to Continue Questioning Can our forests provide us with large amounts of biomass for energy while continuing to provide the other ecosystem functions and services we expect and hope for? Can our forests provide us with large amounts of biomass for energy while continuing to provide the other ecosystem functions and services we expect and hope for? Will landowners opt for more intensive management to strive for greater forest biomass? Will landowners opt for more intensive management to strive for greater forest biomass? As management proceeds over many decades, centuries, how much will the proportion of the low- quality wood supply diminish? As management proceeds over many decades, centuries, how much will the proportion of the low- quality wood supply diminish? A role for coppice management? A role for coppice management?

20 Thank you! & Time for Questions


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