Using Resource Economics to Anticipate Forest Land Use Change in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region
Demands for forest, farm, and developed land are evolving in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. The demand for land in developed uses, as well as demands for various forest and farm products are changing in response to population growth, demographic shifts, and market forces. As demand factors change so do relative land values. Land area in future forest, farm, and developed uses may shift as landowners re-evaluate relative net benefits from land use alternatives. This study examines the effects of various land demand and supply factors on the determination of land use patterns in the mid-Atlantic region. Driving variables include costs and benefits from various uses, population density, and measures of land quality. Model parameters are estimated using a binomial logit procedure. Results from the study are used to estimate proportions of forest area on a county by county basis. Simulated forest landscapes under hypothetical future conditions are prepared and illustrated using geographic information system (GIS) techniques.