Special Problems of Forests as Ecologic-Economic Systems

Ecologic-economic systems tend to exhibit greater complexity than systems that are purely ecological or economic. The interactions between the two types often generates nonlinear relations that lead to various kinds of complex dynamics that complicate management and decisionmaking regarding them. Of these, forests have characteristics that lead them to have special problems not usually encountered in the management of such systems. A central one is the long time periods involved managing forests compared to most other such systems. This means that the issues regarding determination of discount rates for valuing future outcomes are more important for forestry management than for many other systems. Also, forests generate a wider range of externalities than do most other ecologic-economic systems, with implications for various hierarchical levels of management. This paper considers the array of these problems as they appear for a variety of forestry management issues
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