While the global demand for wood products is on the rise, timber production has shifted from the Pacific Northwest to the southeastern United States in recent times. The increase in harvesting makes accurate assessment of the South's wood supply essential. Anew method is proposed for looking at the potential supply of raw woody material. The test area was three southeastern Arkansas counties. A geographic information system (GIS) using ArcView software incorporates two sources of public information. First, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data from the USDA Forest Service were queried to find land areas and volumes by timber type, as well as growth and removals. Second, Gap Analysis Program (GAP) data were included to delineate land cover patterns. FIA growth rates were applied to the corresponding timber types. Additionally, vector layers such as roads, streams, and power lines were buffered, and those areas were then subtracted from forested land cover types. The losses to buffered areas were approximately 7 percent. The FIA data were manipulated to determine a cubic meter growth rate per year. The study revealed that the study area is capable of supplying 2,034.7 thousand cubic meters of wood per year, while the FIA data for the same area showed 2,150.9 thousand cubic meters. With both the FIA and GAP data being updated every 5-10 years, values can easily be updated to reflect changes.
Earl, Jeffery; Kluender, Richard A.; and Brewington, Robert
"Method to Predict the Potential Regional Long-Term Timber Supply Using GIS and Other Publicly Available Data,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 54
, Article 10.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol54/iss1/10