USDA Forest Service

Rocky Mountain Research Station


Mailing Address:

Forestry Sciences Lab
800 E. Beckwith Ave
Missoula, Montana 59801

(406) 542-4150

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.


Project Level Analysis of Treatment Alternatives
Graphic of Landscape     PLATA is a Windows-based application for doing economic analysis of a planning project.  PLATA does an 'efficiency' analysis, using net present value, cost/benefit ratio, and annual equivalent value.  It also calculates trust fund sufficiency, allocates treatment costs by fund code, lets you compare any number of alternatives.  Two types of reports can be produced: a customized, detailed report for a single alternative, and a report that compares selected alternatives. A No Action alternative is automatically created for each project. The report comparing alternatives is designed for NEPA documentation.
     PLATA is two programs.  The Default Database Builder is used to construct Area Default sets that are specific to some user-defined geographic area (like a National Forest, or a Ranger District).  These Area Default sets are then used in the Project Builder for the base data for project analysis.  Project Builder users set up a project analysis, define alternatives, enter activity costs, planning costs and outputs (timber or otherwise), and run customized reports.  Area Default items can be used directly, or defaults may be edited, or new items can be added.
     Regional transactions evidence appraisal methods can be incorporated into a PLATA analysis to compute expected stumpage prices: the advantage of this is that the same price is computed as that of an actual appraisal. This preliminary appraisal is useful in planning projects because it helps to identify potential problems early on; for example, whether a sale offering would be expected to sell. PLATA analysis is not limited to timber sales: forest stewardship projects can be analyzed with PLATA.

     Forest Economics Research at RMRS currently supports economic analysis in the Northern Region by providing the Area Default sets for each National Forest in the Region. These Area Defaults sets use the Transactions Evidence Appraisal models published by the Regional office, local prices, and local Forest Service average costs. Other users are invited to seek support for Area Default maintenance; we are available to assist in setting up Area Defaults in any Region.

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USDA Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station
Last Modified: December 14, 2006
Modified by: Janet Sullivan

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