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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 322506 matches for " Thomas J. Straka "
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Historic Charcoal Production in the US and Forest Depletion: Development of Production Parameters  [PDF]
Thomas J. Straka
Advances in Historical Studies (AHS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ahs.2014.32010
Abstract: Charcoal was the fuel of choice for the early nineteenth century for iron making and smelting of other metals in the United States. The industry involved massive amount of woodcutting and entire woodlands were depleted. The problem is somewhat exaggerated in the literature. While forest destruction tended to be quite complete near smelters and furnaces, it was generally localized near the demand for the fuel. Many authors attempt to equate furnace production to forest area depletion as one measure of environmental destruction. This is not as easy as it appears. The mathematics seems simple and uses a few basic ratios: furnace yield or bushels of charcoal needed to produce a ton of output; charcoal yield or bushels of charcoal produced from a cord of wood, and forest yield or cubic meters per ha. Different furnaces, colliers, and forests have different yields. Production parameters are critical to estimate productivity and costs. These parameters are discussed in terms of estimation problems and average expected values. This valuable information will make estimation of forest area use in charcoal production more reliable.
Forest History Snapshot: Forest Industry Woodlands Operations Locations Prior to Mergers and Acquistions  [PDF]
Thomas J. Straka
Advances in Historical Studies (AHS) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ahs.2013.24024
Abstract: Forestry industry was a major owner of timberland in the United States over most of the twentieth century. This timberland was seen as a cost-effective means to supply their lumber and pulp mills. They were an important owner, with some of the most productive and intensively-managed timberlands in the country. Beginning in the 1980s, other investors realized the value of timberland assets and actively pursued acquisition of the forest products companies and their timberland assets. Mergers and acquisitions were common within the industry as a means to discourage takeovers. These timberlands were traditionally managed by woodlands operations located near the mills. These operations defined classic timber towns, with names like Crossett, Georgetown, Bogalusa, and Millinocket becoming synonymous with the mill and the woodlands. Woodlands operations are nearly extinct as few mills still own timberlands; what might remain is a small wood procurement organization at the same location. These woodlands operations were an important part of forest history and their locations provide much insight into the historical patterns of industrial forest management. Major forest industry woodlands operations are identified by geography and size as a means to record a fading historical artifact of forest history.
Maintaining an Optimal Flow of Forest Products under a Carbon Market: Approximating a Pareto Set of Optimal Silvicultural Regimes for Eucalyptus fastigata  [PDF]
Oliver Chikumbo, Thomas J. Straka
Open Journal of Forestry (OJF) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2012.23017
Abstract: A competitive co-evolutionary Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm (cc-MOGA) was used to approximate a Pareto front of efficient silvicultural regimes for Eucalyptus fastigata. The three objectives to be maximised included, sawlog, pulpwood and carbon sequestration payment. Three carbon price scenarios (3CPS), i.e. NZ $25, NZ $50 and NZ $100 for a tonne of CO2 sequestered, were used to assess the impact on silvicultural regimes, against a fourth non-carbon Pareto set of efficient regimes (nonCPS), determined from a cc-MOGA with two objectives, i.e. competing sawlog and pulpwood productions. Carbon prices included in stand valuation were found to influence the silvicultural regimes by increasing the rotation length and lowering the final crop number before clearfell. However, there were no significant changes in the frequency, timing, and intensity of thinning operations amongst all the four Pareto sets of solutions. However, the 3CPS were not significantly different from each other, which meant that these silvicultural regimes were insensitive to the price of carbon. This was because maximising carbon sequestration was directly related to the biological growth rate. As such an optimal mix of frequency, intensity, and timing of thinning maintained maximum growth rate for as long as possible for any one rotation.
Urban Forest and Tree Valuation Using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis: Impact of Economic Components  [PDF]
Kristin S. Peterson, Thomas J. Straka
Open Journal of Forestry (OJF) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2012.23021
Abstract: Discounted cash flow analysis is one of the standard methods used to value urban forests and trees. It involves calculating today’s value for all benefits and costs attributed to an investment; that is discounting all cash flows to today’s value using an appropriate interest rate. This requires each benefit and cost be stated in terms of its cash flow. Urban tree benefits are complex. Little notice is given to the components of these benefits. Total urban tree benefits are a summation of partial benefits, including property value increase, storm water reduction, air quality improvement, carbon sequestration, natural gas savings, and electricity savings. We discuss the nature of these partial benefits, especially the geographical, temporal, diameter size, and rate of growth differences. These differences are even reflected in nursery stock valuation. Net present value analysis is used to illustrate the impact of these differences on financial return. An understanding of these components will prove valuable to those attempting to estimate urban forest and tree benefits.
Forestland and Timber Donations: Challenging Management Opportunities for Foundations  [PDF]
Phillip Lee Ward, Thomas J. Straka
Open Journal of Forestry (OJF) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2012.24032
Abstract: Over half of the forestland in the United States is in private hands. Just over 10 million individual and family owners control about 60% of this private forestland. Ownership of family forests changes on a regular basis; sometimes from generation to generation and sometimes to outside of the family. Often new owners are not interested in forest management and sell off the asset. Some owners attempt to ensure their family forest remains pristine and undeveloped. This is leading to timberland donations to entities that can be expected to hold the donated forest permanently and ensure sustainable forest management. University foundations and forestry schools are increasingly receiving timberland as donations. It is a way for donors to monetize the asset (with tax breaks) and protect it at the same time. Foundations have a problem with timberland as they often don’t fully understand it as an investment. Certainly there are even times when a foundation should not accept it as a donation. The nature of timberland as an investment is explained, along with basic terminology that is common use. Age class distribution and the resulting cash flow dis- tribution is explained, as well as timber volume, harvest scheduling, timberland investment analysis, tim- ber value, timber sales, and timber contracts. All of these are tools foundation board members need to evaluate timberland donations.
Family Forest Owners’ Motivation to Control Understory Vegetation: Implications for Consulting Forestry  [PDF]
Alex C. Londeau, Thomas J. Straka
Open Journal of Forestry (OJF) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2013.34016

Forest vegetation management has evolved as a recognized component of intensive forest management practice. It involves the management of competing vegetation necessary to obtain the high yields expected in modern forest plantations via control of interfering plants that influence regeneration outcome, impact timber stand development, and limit native plant and wildlife diversity. It includes cultural control, fire control, mechanical control, biological control, and chemical control. The public perception of forest vegetation management, especially chemical control, is sometimes negative due to health and environmental concerns. It is an important tool in the forest management alternatives available to consulting foresters managing family forest lands (the vast majority of private forest land in the United States). We report on a study that addresses the motivations of family forest owners that implement forest vegetation management practices and the motivation of those who chose not to implement after forester recommendations to do so. For those who do implement forest vegetation management, improvement of wildlife habitat and increased timber growth was the main motivation. For those who did not, cost was the main concern. Size of forest holding plays a major role in determining who will practice intensive forestry.


Taxonomic Review of Classical and Current Literature on the Perennial American Family Forest Problem
Thomas J. Straka
Forests , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/f2030660
Abstract: One of the fundamental issues in American forest policy has been the small forest ownership problem. Early in the twentieth century, it was called the farm forestry problem, later, the nonindustrial private forest problem, and today, the family forest problem. Family forest owners are thought to manage their lands in a suboptimal manner resulting in low forest productivity relative to other ownership groups. This can lead to future timber supply problems. The exact nature of the problem, especially its social and economic basis, was a common subject of early forestry research studies. This article includes many of the major nonindustrial private forest or family forest studies, from early to current, and classifies them both by themes used by other authors and categories that relate to major research areas in the current literature. A major focus of this literature deals with promoting management on family forest holdings and possible land management incentives and disincentives. Natural trends in family forest ownership, like parcelization, also impact upon forest management opportunities. By developing a taxonomy that classifies these studies by research objective, methodology, owner motivation, and problem definition, this article serves to organize the family forest literature in a manner that provides a temporal framework for better understanding the historical motivation for and development of family forest research in the United States.
Evolution of Sustainability in American Forest Resource Management Planning in the Context of the American Forest Management Textbook
Thomas J. Straka
Sustainability , 2009, DOI: 10.3390/su1040838
Abstract: American forest resource management and planning goes back to the European roots of American Forestry. Timber management plans, documents based on forest regulation for timber production, were the foundation of American forestry. These types of management plans predominated until World War II. Multiple use forestry developed after World War II and issues like recreation, wildlife, water quality, and wilderness became more important. In the 1970’s harvest scheduling became part of the planning process, allowing for optimization of multiple goals. By 2001 social, environmental, and economic goals were integrated into the timber production process. American forestry experienced distinct historical periods of resource planning, ranging from classic sustained yield timber production, to multiple use-sustained yield, to sustainable human-forest systems. This article traces the historical changes in forest management planning philosophy using the forest management textbooks of the time. These textbooks provide insight into the thought process of the forestry profession as changes in the concept of sustainability occurred.
Sustainability and Forest Certification as a Framework for a Capstone Forest Resource Management Plans Course  [PDF]
Christine M. Watts, Lauren S. Pile, Thomas J. Straka
Open Journal of Forestry (OJF) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2012.23019
Abstract: Forest sustainability is the foundation of forestry and modern forest management. Originally the central concept was sustained-yield and maximum timber production and then multiple-use and other non-timber values gained importance. After the Rio Conference and development of the Montréal Process in the early 1990’s, forest sustainability rapidly gained importance and various forest certification schemes developed to certify forest products that were grown using sustainable forest management. Forest sustainability and forest certification have become critical topics in forestry curricula. The American Tree Farm System is one of the important North American forest certification organizations. Modern forestry curricula often include a capstone course where forest management plans are developed. We describe a capstone course at Clemson University under development that uses the management standards and management plan template of the American Tree Farm System as a framework for students to develop actual forest management plans for local forest owners. The material is integrated into a series of four courses leading up to the capstone course. The course offered a hands-on approach for students to create management plans using actual certification standards and the system’s management plan template. In addition, students received specialized training to qualify as auditors for the certification system. This is an example of forest sustainability being integrated into the forestry curriculum.
Consanguine Philosophies of Traditional Timber-Based and Contemporary Sustainability-Based Forest Resource Management Plans  [PDF]
Thomas J. Straka, Robert D. Tew, Tamara L. Cushing
Natural Resources (NR) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/nr.2013.45048

The earliest American forest resource management plans date to the birth of the forestry profession around 1900. For the next half century, these management plans were essentially timber production management plans. Certainly, other forest values, especially watershed protection, were important parts of the planning. But not until the second half of the twentieth century did multiple-use and a wide array of forest values become normal components of a forest management plan. Within the last twenty-five years forest management plans have developed a forest stewardship or sustainable forest management foundation. That is, a forest resource management plan is now expected to consider an entire set of forest values, to have a long-term sustainability focus, and to meet a set of expected management and operational criteria. Often, the forest management plan is the basis of a forest certification scheme. The early forest management plans were primarily timber-based and thus had a commercial or financial focus. Today’s forest management plans are based on multiple forest values and may or may not have a financial focus. We contrast the traditional timber management plan with today’s sustainable forest management plan, realizing the basis of both plans is by definition the forest or the timber. Involving both timber harvesting activities and the operational foundation of the sustainable forest management plan is essentially a timber management plan. One cannot ignore the fact that all forest management plans accomplish silvicultural objectives via manipulation of timber density variables, like stocking and spacing. Management of a forest still involves timber harvests. Our discussion shows that the timber management plan is still very much alive and forms the basis of modern sustainable forest management plans.

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