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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

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Sustaining Forests

Market Assessments and What They Mean for Forests

Research Issue

[photo:] The market value of wood species has a large influence on which species are harvested, how forest stands are managed, and thus, the composition and health of future forests. The vital importance of the hardwood products industry to the Appalachian region shapes much of our research program. We evaluate local, national, and international hardwood markets and the impact of timber removals on residual forests. This research assesses how markets affect the sustainability of forests and aims to promote sustainable forest management and the economic viability of forest-based communities.

Our Research

Our research is focused on understanding linkages among forest products harvesting, changes in land use, ownership patterns and objectives, and the corresponding demands being placed on forest ecosystems and related economic communities in the Appalachians. We seek to develop basic knowledge about landowner harvesting practices and motivations, proximity to and requirements of markets, timber removal trends, and forest ecosystems. As forest management changes in response to these various influences, forest products markets will change, and local communities also will be affected.

Expected Outcomes

Our research helps U.S. manufacturers sustain and enhance their competitive position in the global economy, and provide tools and systems that advance efficiency in wood products manufacturing. Without information on resource demand and use that is both timely and regionally applicable, forest managers would lack the knowledge needed to implement management strategies that maximize resource values, policy makers would lack knowledge of resource supplies, demands, and economic contributions, and the forest industry would lack information about the forest resource and its availability. This information is distributed directly to the forest products industry, state forestry agencies, utilization foresters, consultants, and others involved in planning production and making decisions about future directions and markets. 

Research Results

Nicholls, D.; Bumgardner, M. 2015. Low-grade and character-marked hardwoods: a research review and synthesis of solid wood manufacturing and marketing. The Forestry Chronicle. 91(5):548-559.

Luppold, W.G.; Bumgardner, M.S.; McConnell, T.E. 2014. Impacts of changing hardwood lumber consumption and price on stumpage and sawlog prices in Ohio. Forest Science. 60(5):994-999.

Grushecky, S.T.; Wiedenbeck, J.; Hassler, C.C. 2013. Examination of roundwood utilization rates in West Virginia. Forest Products Journal. 62(7/8): 507-515.

Bumgardner, M.; Bowe, S.; Wiedenbeck, J. 2013. Assessing the influence of forest ownership type and location on roundwood utilization at the stump and top in a region with small-diameter markets. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 43:376-384.

Wiedenbeck, J.; Ray, C.D.; Ma, L. 2011. A synopsis of the wood-based energy and heating industries in the northeastern United States with consideration of potential impacts on future demand for roundwood. In: In: Fei, S.; Lhotka, J.M.; Stringer, J.W.; Gottschalk, K.W.; Miller, G.W., eds. Proceedings, 17th central hardwood forest conference; 2010 April 5-7; Lexington, KY; Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 559-569.

Luppold, W.; Alderman, D. 2007. Influence of species on site selection and timber removal: a case study for West Virginia. Northern J. of Applied Forestry. 24(2):146-148.

Bowe, Scott and Matthew Bumgardner. 2006. Small-diameter timber utilization in Wisconsin: A case study of four counties. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, 23(4):250-256.

Luppold, Bill and Matthew Bumgardner. 2006. Influence of markets and forest composition on lumber production in Pennsylvania. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, 23(2):87-93.

Alderman, Delton, Matthew Bumgardner, and John Baumgras. 2005. An assessment of the red maple resource in the Northeastern United States. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, Vol. 22(3): September 2005.

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • Delton Alderman, USDA Forest Service-Northern Research Station, Research Forest Products Technologist
  • Matthew Bumgardner, USDA Forest Service-Northern Research Station, Research Forest Products Technologist
  • Jan Wiedenbeck, USDA Forest Service-Northern Research Station, Research Forest Products Technologist

Research Partners

Last Modified: 06/13/2018