Assessing socioeconomic impacts of climate change on U.S. forests, wood-product markets and forest recreation
Chen, Chi Chung
McCarl, Bruce A.
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In this paper we discuss the problems of projecting social and economic changes affecting forests and review recent efforts to assess the wood-market impacts of possible climate changes. To illustrate the range of conditions encountered in projecting socioeconomic change linked to forests, we consider two markedly different uses: forest products markets and forest recreation. In the case of forest products, we use an existing forest-sector model to arrive at new simulation results concerning the impacts of climate change. The impact of climate change on recreation has received less attention; here we consider a case study of downhill skiing. Other important forest values were not treated explicitly in this research. Our primary emphasis is on methods and issues in the socioeconomic assessment process. Our efforts may be viewed as an exercise in human ecology, studying complex interactions between human societies and their forests. We close with suggestions for future research.
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