Optimal Forest Management with Carbon Sequestration Credits and Endogenous Fire Risk

Adam J. Daigneault, Mario J. Miranda and Brent Sohngen

Abstract

We use a stochastic dynamic profit maximization model to investigate the effects of forest carbon sequestration credits on optimal forest management practices for stands facing wildfire risk. Landowners that periodically thin a stand can increase growth rates and mitigate loss of timber and carbon stocks from wildfire. Results indicate that thinning and shortening rotations are cost-effective strategies to mitigate wildfire risk. Carbon prices cause landowners to delay both their thinning treatments and the final rotation age. Thinning and extending timber rotations are thus a viable climate-change mitigation option even when stands are susceptible to risks of fire. (JEL Q23, Q54)