Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 16 > Issue 1

Assessing costs and benefits of pest management on forested landbases in eastern and western Canada

G.L. Slaney, V.A. Lantz, , D.A. MacLean
Suggested Citation
G.L. Slaney, V.A. Lantz and D.A. MacLean (2010), "Assessing costs and benefits of pest management on forested landbases in eastern and western Canada", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 16: No. 1, pp 19-34.

Publication Date: 0/1/2010
© 0 2010 G.L. Slaney, V.A. Lantz, D.A. MacLean
JEL Codes:Q23Q28Q00
Spruce budwormDecision support systemTimber product valueProtection costsInsecticide useBenefit/cost ratioNet present value


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To assist pest management planning, the Canadian Forest Service developed the Spruce Budworm Decision Support System (SBW DSS), which quantifies the timber supply impacts of protecting stands against spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) defoliation. We incorporated protection costs and timber product values in this system to evaluate economic aspects of spruce budworm control. The analysis allows pest managers to evaluate the degree to which the traditional volume protection priority objective corresponds to three economic criteria, namely the volume protected per dollar protection program cost, the benefit–cost ratio of the protection program, and the net present value of the protection program. Twelve alternative spruce budworm protection strategies were analyzed on Crown License 1 in New Brunswick and Prince Albert Forest Management Area (PAFMA) in Saskatchewan, based on a number of protection program extents and intensities. For both landbases under base-case market conditions, the largest, most intensive protection scenario provided the highest amount of volume saved and net present value (at 3.94Mm3 and $39.98M for PAFMA, and 4.04Mm3 and $41.49M for License 1, respectively) while smaller, less-intensive programs provided the highest benefit–cost ratios and volume protected per present value dollar of protection cost (at 8.22 and 0.52m3/$ for PAFMA, and 10.26 and 0.65m3/$ for License 1, respectively). Sensitivity analysis on product values and protection costs revealed that smaller, less-intensive programs could also produce the highest net present values when costs are higher and/or product values lower. These results highlight the conditions under which pest managers should consider deviating from their traditional strategy of maximizing volume saved to one that maximizes the economic returns of protection.