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Forest Inventory

Since active management of the Domain began in 1898, a total of six forest inventories have been completed (Table 1, Figure 1)). Because each inventory was conducted utilizing different techniques and methods, and the forested area of the Domain has not remained constant due to land purchases, sales, and urbanization; a great deal of caution is required when comparing forest volume estimates from one inventory period to another. On the other hand, general trends can be surmised about the forest and its condition by considering the forest volumes recorded and subsequent levels of harvesting that took place.


Table 1. Estimated standing timber on the Domain in millions of board feet, estimated timber value at time of inventory and in 2002, and timber harvested between forest inventories in millions of board feet (mmbf).

Year Inventory Completed

Standing Timber, mmbf

Estimated Timber Value $ thousands

Est. Timber Value 2002 $ in thousands

Harvest Period

Timber Harvested, mmbf

1903

13

27.5

500

1903-1938

7.25

1939

18

100

1,300

1939-1952

2.6

1953

30

300

2000

1953-1962

11

1963

17

300

1,700

1963-1980

2.7

1981

33

2,000

3,900

1981-2001

9*

2002

44

6,500

6,500

2002-

0

Total growth

63.55**



Total Harvest

32.55**

*This volume of timber harvested includes the Smith Tract which has not been included in any Domain inventories.

** Growth to drain ratio 2:1.




Figure 1. History of Domain Inventory and Harvesting




Income generated from timber harvesting (Table 2, Figure 2) has been an important objective of the University in all preceding forest management plans. Income from timber sales has been critical to developing and maintaining the infrastructure of the Domain including the fire lanes, lakes, and other recreational facilities. This income has also been important in partially funding construction projects and as a supplement to the general operating budget of the university. Table 2 below lists the timber revenues by decade as published in the 1953 and 1966 management plans. Data since 1966 has been gathered from files in the Office of Forest Management (OFM) on timber sales, and from monthly and annual budget reports. The last column in the table shows the calculated value of this income in 2002. This calculation was made using the Consumer Price Index calculator of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis-St. Paul, for which data is first available in 1913.


Table 2. History of income generated from timber management and value in 2002 dollars.

Harvest Period

Income Generated

CPI Date

Value in 2002

1900-1910

$19,648

1913

$355,847

1911-1920

$6,163

1920

$55,251

1921-1930

$496

1930

$5,325

1931-1940

$174

1940

$2,228

1941-1950

$16,000

1950

$119,037

1951-1952

$28,270

1952

$191,275

1953-1962

$120,900

1962

$717,794

1963-1972

$28,800

1972

$123,537

1973-1982

$96,461

1982

$179,228

1983-1992

$72,272

1992

$92,362

1993-2002

$297,015

2002

$297,015

Totals

$686,199


$2,138,899


Figure 2. History of income generated from timber management and value in 2002 dollars.


Figure 3. The volume of timber on each of the University's compartments in board feet/acre.
(Click to enlarge)