Estimated impacts to Louisiana hardwood timber product receipts following emerald ash borer invasion: a 25-year scenarioThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Hardwoods significantly contribute to Louisiana’s forest economy. Unfortunately, the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), or EAB, will have untold impacts on those contributions. Here, we estimated one scenario’s effects on Louisiana’s hardwood timber product value. Ash (Fraxinus spp.) mortality due to EAB was assumed to follow a Beta distribution to eliminate essentially all ash within 25 years. Mortality rates were relatively slow in the near future, peaked after the middle stage of infestation, and tapered precipitously near the end of the projection period. Annual growth of ash was assumed to be a constant proportion (1.8288 percent) equal to the current rate estimated from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis data. Future volumes of ash mortality were discounted to the present and valued using TimberMart-South prices to estimate the annualized effect on timber receipts. Assuming the dead timber would have otherwise been typical trees of average quality, stumpage was valued at $1.57 million, with deliveries totaling $3.48 million. A salvage arrangement using the double declining balance method coupled with a second Beta distribution depreciated the timber’s value monthly over 1 year, as Louisiana’s high heat and humidity rapidly degrade timber quality. The Beta cumulative distribution function was centered upon Louisiana’s current 2.8 percent proportion of harvest volume to timber inventory. We found salvage receipts for stumpage ranged from $24,200 to $35,800, while deliveries ranged from $53,700 to $79,400 at 95 percent confidence. The final result was an average annual decline in stumpage revenues of -$1.53 million to -$1.55 million, while delivered values fell by -$3.40 to -$3.43 million at 95 percent confidence.