Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Forest Resources

Advisor

Mindy Crandall & Adam Daigneault

Second Committee Member

Andrew Crawley

Third Committee Member

Robert Rice

Additional Committee Members

Jonathan Rubin

Abstract

Recognizing the extensive historical and modern role of forests in Maine, this dissertation proposes a new dynamic-recursive, spatial allocation (DR.SAGE) model for examining Maine’s forest economy to understand its continuing importance to the state. This model attempts to incorporate spatial elements into a general equilibrium framework to evaluate how shocks to the forest products markets, such as a large increase in exports each year, would ripple through Maine, where forest related goods are the primary export. By adjusting previous estimates, contribution analyses for 2016 estimate that the forest products industry supports a $8.5B contribution to Maine. From here, it is projected that Maine’s economy will grow just under 5% by 2025 with business as usual: a 5.3% increase in GDP and a 4.7% increase in annual harvests. Driven by inflation, prices will increase an average of 22.1% by 2025. During this time, some production moves into the central counties of York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Kennebec, and Penobscot from the others. Using the DR.SAGE model to analyze a spruce budworm infestation, I estimate that medium- and high intensity outbreaks will have long term consequences on the stock of softwood saw logs. I also estimate that an external increase in the demands for forest products of 15.6% over nine years would increase most forest product sectors’ outputs and prices by an additional 4%-10%; forest product sectors with proportionally large wood requirements and large export shares expanded the most. Despite this, Maine’s GDP is estimated to grow only by an additional 0.1%-0.2%. Sectors which are not related to Maine’s forest economy saw minimal decreases in price and output, while sectors competitive with forest sectors saw declines of 0.3%-0.6%. Overall, the DR.SAGE model framework meets the project objectives: it provides details about harvest levels and locations for a variety of wood types; the stock of each wood types is grown endogenously in the model; it provides information about each broad sector’s production in each county; and, it provides aggregate information about prices and county-level output for the forest product sectors.

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