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Open Access Thesis
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Forests provide immense goods and services to both local and regional communities. The USDA Forest Service’s, State and Private Forestry program administer multiple landowner assistance programs aimed at helping private forest owners while supporting the continued supply of ecosystem services (e.g., timber harvesting, recreation, carbon sequestration and storage). The two landowner assistance programs assessed in this study are the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) and the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP). A majority of the nation’s forests are privately owned, many of which are facing deleterious impacts like wildfires, invasive species, development pressures, and other adverse effects from climate change. The goal of this project is to (1) quantify the economic contributions emanating from lands participating in FLP and FSP in the conterminous US and (2) quantify and value the carbon sequestration on lands participating in FLP and FSP in New England. IMPLAN is an input-output modeling system, used in Chapter 1, that estimates how money flows through a regional economy. The results from the IMPLAN analysis suggest that FLP lands in the conterminous US contribute an estimated 4,560 jobs and $306.8 million in value-added from timber harvesting and recreation. Further, FSP lands contribute an estimated 27,700 jobs and $1.8 billion in value added from timber harvesting and recreation. Using Forest Inventory and Analysis carbon sequestration data and the social cost of carbon, the results of chapter 2 suggest that, in New England, FLP lands sequester 147,000 metric tons of CO2, or $7.5 million in aboveground CO2, per year. FSP lands in New England are estimated to sequester 82,000 metric tons of CO2, or $4.1 million in CO2, per year. Quantifying and estimating the economic and ecosystem service contributions emanating from lands participating in FLP and FSP provide a framework for understanding the total benefits associated with these programs (e.g., supporting rural economies, impacting climate change and the global carbon network, etc.).
Dias, Jacqueline S., "Assessment of the Economic and Ecosystem Service Contributions of USDA Forest Service Landowner Assistance Programs in the Conterminous United States" (2022). Masters Theses. 1154.