European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 909–919 | Cite as

Evaluation of forest management systems under risk of wildfire

  • Kari HyytiäinenEmail author
  • Robert G. Haight
Original Paper


We evaluate the economic efficiency of even- and uneven-aged management systems under risk of wildfire. The management problems are formulated for a mixed-conifer stand and approximations of the optimal solutions are obtained using simulation optimization. The Northern Idaho variant of the Forest Vegetation Simulator and its Fire and Fuels Extension is used to predict stand growth and fire effects. Interest rate and fire risk are found to be critical determinants of the superior stand management system and timber supply. Uneven-aged management is superior with higher interest rates with or without fire risk. Alterations in the interest rate affect optimal stocking levels of uneven-aged stands, but have only minor effects on the long-run timber supply. Higher interest rates reduce rotation length and regeneration investments of even-aged stands, which lead to markedly reduced timber supply. Increasing fire risk increases the relative efficiency of even-aged management because a single age cohort is less susceptible to fire damage over the course of the rotation than multiple cohorts in uneven-aged stands. Higher fire risk reduces optimal diameter limit under uneven-aged management and decreases optimal rotation length and planting density under even-aged management.


Even-aged management Fire risk Individual tree model Monte Carlo simulation Simulation optimization Uneven-aged management 



We are grateful to Stephanie Rebain, Olli Tahvonen, Lauri Valsta and the participants of the “Linking Forest Inventory and Optimisation”—conference for helpful comments and discussions. Mikko Kukkola is acknowledged for programing some of the model components needed in optimization. Kari Hyytiäinen thanks Kyösti Haatajan säätiö for research grant.


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Copyright information

© U.S. Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MTT Agrifood Research FinlandHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service, Northern Research StationSt. PaulUSA

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