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Building the ECON extension: Functionality and lessons learned

Posted date: October 01, 2008
Publication Year: 
2008
Authors: Martin, Fred C.
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Havis, Robert N.; Crookston, Nicholas L., comps. 2008. Third Forest Vegetation Simulator Conference; 2007 February 13–15; Fort Collins, CO. Proceedings RMRS-P-54. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 203-211
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

The functionality of the ECON extension to FVS is described with emphasis on the ability to dynamically interact with all elements of the FVS simulation process. Like other extensions, ECON is fully integrated within FVS. This integration allows: (1) analysis of multiple alternative tree-removal actions within a single simulation without altering “normal” stand development, (2) imposing financial effects dynamically in response to stand development and activities, (3) scheduling activities based on economic criteria with the Event Monitor, and (4) analyzing alternative rotation lengths within a single simulation. Outputs from ECON include investment decision indices (present net value, internal rate of return, benefit cost ratio, realizable rate of return, soil expectation value, value of forest, and value of trees) and harvested tree and log values. Designing, coding, and integrating the ECON extension into the FVS framework evoked new perspectives about the use and significance of FVS. The importance of FVS as a modeling environment within which multiple management issues can be simultaneously examined was recognized. The prominence of traditional model prediction precision was reassessed relative to the value of quantifying the marginal effects among stand developmental processes. Metrics from the FVS framework render a convergence of evidence for decision making that may be more valuable than prediction of absolute future conditions. The need for FVS to evolve as a framework, not just a growth model, was recognized, and a disciplined approach to extending FVS is proposed.

Citation

Martin, Fred C. 2008. Building the ECON extension: Functionality and lessons learned. In: Havis, Robert N.; Crookston, Nicholas L., comps. 2008. Third Forest Vegetation Simulator Conference; 2007 February 13–15; Fort Collins, CO. Proceedings RMRS-P-54. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 203-211