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Private vs Public Forest Management Costs

KMorrisD kmorrisd at aol.com
Tue Aug 11 12:25:52 EST 1998

Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com> wrote:

>So in the '90's we're looking at probably something
>like a couple of million bucks, while getting maybe 10% of that back in
>timber sales.

I was looking at the figures from Thoreau Institute for Massachusetts in 1993,
which, according to my reading, showed $287,000 timber sales revenue plus
another $45,000 other user fee revenues for a total of $332,000.  This was
offset by $500,000 in state forest budget expenses.

The $287,000 could be correct for 1993.  But the $500,000 does seem low when
you consider that there must be at least 10 state `foresters` at $100,000 each
per year total cost.  That would make $1,000,000 per year total cost. 

If sales have declined as you indicate, then the cost percentage would be much
higher than 150%--or even the 350% indicated in my rough calculations above.  

Kinda makes you wonder what they do all day.  I mean, you'd think they'd get
tired of goofing off after a while.  Or they'd want to get some exercise at
least. <G> But according to the Thoreau Institute, some states have even higher
cost percentages than MA.

Then again, maybe Thoreau Institute just doesn't understand all the comlexities
of modern financial accounting, and the real picture is as rosy as the USFS and
state guys would have us believe.  Right.


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