Date of Award

Spring 2007

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources and Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Theodore E Howard


Sustaining our forests is vital for a healthy ecosystem and for the future of forest industry. To sustain the regional sawmill industry as well as the associated forest resource base, the key is to track the consumption and inventory of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.), the most dominant commercial species in New Hampshire. This research profiled the sawmill industry in New Hampshire and Vermont in terms of production, consumption, labor characteristics and regulating economic and policy issues. We examined the sustainability of the industry and its resource base; with a specific focus on the white pine sawmill industry and the dynamics of its supporting forest resource in New Hampshire by developing a wood supply model. We modeled spatially explicit demand by mills based on procurement data incorporating market forces and simulated inventory, harvest and stumpage prices, for a fifty-year projection period. This is the first approximation of a transparent spread-sheet based timber supply model tracking mill consumption and its forest base inventory at both state and county levels. It tested nine scenarios and corresponding sensitivities to parameter changes. It provided impact assessments of future land use change and other market dynamics on future wood supply for the sawmill industry. Model results suggest that the most sustainable scenario will be the optimistic case with low-end initial mill consumption and the least sustainable scenario will be the pessimistic case with high-end initial mill consumption. Except for the base and the optimistic cases with low-end initial mill consumption, model results forecast general trends of increasing stumpage prices and decreasing inventory, stocking and harvest levels over a 50-year period for eastern white pine in New Hampshire. Policies to absorb the adverse impacts for sustaining a long-term healthy forest industry and its forest resource base are needed. Future works can expand the model fully to more species and integrate a more detailed evaluation at the landscape level of the forest resource base.

Key words. forest sustainability, sawmill industry, wood supply.