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Open AccessArticle

Economics of Early Intervention to Suppress a Potential Spruce Budworm Outbreak on Crown Land in New Brunswick, Canada

1
Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
2
New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(6), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060481
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection Strategy against Spruce Budworm)
We investigated the potential economic impacts of future spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) (SBW) outbreaks on 2.8 million ha of Crown land in New Brunswick, Canada and compared an early intervention strategy (EIS) with foliage protection approaches. We coupled the Spruce Budworm Decision Support System (SBW DSS) with a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to assess the impacts of EIS and foliage protection on 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% of susceptible Crown (publicly owned) forest, under moderate and severe SBW outbreak scenarios. Cumulative available harvest supply from 2017 to 2067 was projected to be reduced by 29 to 43 million m3, depending upon SBW outbreak severity, and a successful EIS approach would prevent this loss. These harvest reductions were projected to reduce total economic output by $25 billion (CAD) to $35 billion. Scenarios using biological insecticide foliage protection over 20% of susceptible Crown forest area were projected to reduce losses to 6–17 million m3 and $0.5–4.1 billion. Depending upon SBW outbreak severity, EIS was projected to have benefit/cost ratios of 3.8 to 6.4 and net present values of $186 million to $353 million, both higher than foliage protection strategies. Sensitivity analysis scenarios of ‘what if’ EIS partially works (80% or 90%) showed that these produced superior timber harvest savings than the best foliage protection scenario under severe SBW outbreak conditions and generally superior results under moderate outbreak scenarios. Overall, results support the continued use of EIS as the preferred strategy on economic grounds to protect against SBW outbreaks on Crown land in New Brunswick. View Full-Text
Keywords: insect population management; spruce budworm; early intervention; defoliation; economic losses; decision support system; computable general equilibrium model insect population management; spruce budworm; early intervention; defoliation; economic losses; decision support system; computable general equilibrium model
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Liu, E.Y.; Lantz, V.A.; MacLean, D.A.; Hennigar, C. Economics of Early Intervention to Suppress a Potential Spruce Budworm Outbreak on Crown Land in New Brunswick, Canada. Forests 2019, 10, 481.

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