.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Forests and owls

Policy Economics
I found an article entitled "Why Endangered Species Protection vs. Economic Development doesn't Have to Be a Win-Lose Scenario." The article focuses on the effect of the federal endangered species act had on logging mills of the Pacific Northwest during the mid 90's. The problem facing these loggin mills came about through the spotted owl which was listed as one of many endangered species. The spotted owl needed old growth forests for their habitat, yet the loggers maintained their lives with the favored old growth timber which yielded more profit because of the size. Substantial restrictons on old growth logging eventually resulted in 15,000 forest-related jobs lost. These jobs that were lost, according to the results of the Clinton Administration efforts were replaced with jobs in businesses in other sectors such as technology, and other skill-laden opportunities in diverse fields. The unemployment rate was low and owls and old growth were being protected. A perfect comprise right? To keep the old growth trees standing would be efficient and not only by preserving the spotted owl. Lets say the loggers are allowed to keep cutting the old growth timber. The problem arises when you run out of that type of timber. Once the logger exhaust the timber he can't think that planting more trees will yield the same type of profits recieved before because the time to create old timber will exceed the life present logger if planted now. He would not be able to see the maximum net benefit. The problem arises with if whether or not each logger that lost his job was rewarded with a new one that provide equal economic benefit. The article states that 20,000 jobs were gained but by who? If one logger benefitted while one did not this creates a market failure and an inefficient means to providing protection for the spotted owl. Job placement must be obtained in order for this type of policy to work efficiently.

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?