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Benefit–cost Analysis of Vegetation Management Alternatives: An Ontario Case Study

Publication: The Forestry Chronicle
1 January 2011


Vegetation management practices are an integral component of forest management. In this paper, we report results of stand-level benefit–cost analyses of 12 vegetation management treatments applied at six study sites in northern Ontario. Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVSOntario) was used to project gross total and merchantable volumes to 70 years of age, and BUCK-2 was used to optimize potential products. Net present value (NPV), benefit–cost ratio (BCR), and internal rate of return (IRR) were calculated using 2009 constant dollars and variable real discount rates. Aerial herbicide treatments produced the highest NPV, BCR, and IRR. Internal rates of return of 4.32%, 2.90%, 2.82% and 2.50% for aerial herbicide, manual brush cutting, ground-applied herbicide, and brush cutting plus herbicide treatments, respectively, indicated that all of the vegetation management alternatives evaluated are economically viable.


Les pratiques de contrôle de la végétation font partie intégrante de l'aménagement forestier. Dans cet article, nous reportons des résultats obtenus par des analyses de coût-bénéfice effectuées au niveau du peuplement pour 12 traitements de contrôle de la végétation appliqués sur six sites d’études du nord de l'Ontario. Le Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVSOntario) a été utilisé pour projeter le volume total et le volume marchand à l’âge de 70 ans et le BUCK-2 a été utilize pour optimiser les produits potentiellement obtenus. La valeur actuelle nette (VAN), le ratio coût-bénéfice (RCB) et le taux de rentabilité interne (TRI) ont été calculés en dollars constants de 2009 et selon des taux variables de profitabilité réelle. L’épandage aérien de phytocide a généré les VAN, RCB et TRI les plus importants. Les taux de rentabilité interne de 4,32 %, 2,90 %, 2,82 % et de 2,50 % respectivement pour l’épandage aérien, le débroussaillage manuel, l'application terrestre de phytocide et le débroussaillage manuel suivi de traitements de phytocide, ont démontré que toutes les alternatives de contrôle de la végétation évaluées sont économiquement viables.

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Published In

cover image The Forestry Chronicle
The Forestry Chronicle
Volume 87Number 02April 2011
Pages: 260 - 273


Published online: 1 January 2011

Key Words

  1. aerial herbicides
  2. brush saw
  3. forest economics
  4. Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVSOntario)
  5. ground herbicides
  6. internal rate of return
  7. net present value


  1. épandage aérien de phytocide
  2. débroussailleuse
  3. économie forestière
  4. Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVSOntario)
  5. épandage terrestre de phytocide
  6. taux de rentabilité interne
  7. valeur actuelle nette



Krish Homagain
Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
Chander Shahi
Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
Nancy Luckai
Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
Mathew Leitch
Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
F. Wayne Bell
Ontario Forest Research Institute, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1235 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 2E5

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Cited by

1. The NEBIE plot network: Highlights of long-term scientific studies
2. Effects of aerial strip spraying on mixedwood stand structure and tree growth
3. Effects of precommercial thinning on the forest value chain in northwestern New Brunswick: Part 6 – Estimating the economic benefits

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