Virginia Tech CNRE

Research Projects

Modeling Wood Supply in Virginia


Forests provide an array of critical products and services, including fiber, clean water, wildlife, and recreation opportunities.  Understanding the limits of sustainable uses of forests requires vast amounts of data and advanced analytical tools. We have embarked on a multi-year effort to engage natural resources stakeholders in the design and development of a suite of tools and datasets to meet the strategic planning needs of forest resource managers, landowners, and policymakers.  The objective is not merely to produce a set of computer programs or static datasets, but to improve the collective capacity of companies, agencies, and natural resource scientists to thoroughly assess the complex dynamics of changing land use, resource conditions, ecosystem services, and markets, all based on the best available scientific knowledge.  Our initial efforts will be focused on sustainable supplies of wood fiber in Virginia, but it is expected that the tools, data, and knowledge developed will have broad geographic applicability.

           Sponsor(s): CeNRADS partners

Assessing Non-timber Forest Products using Forest Inventory and Analysis Data


Forests provide many products and services besides the traditional timber products such as sawtimber and pulpwood.  For example, many medicinal products are obtained from forest trees and plants.  Yet little is known about the abundance, availability, supply, or sustainability of harvests of these plants. CeNRADS is teaming with the US Forest Service to determine how much data could be extracted from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) dataset to provide insights about abundance, geographic distribution, growth, and removals of non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

Sponsor: USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (FIA)

Virginia Tier 1 Forest Resource Assessment


Baseline information is crucial for planning and policymaking regarding our forest resources.  CeNRADS has conducted a “Tier I” forest resource assessment for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  A Tier I assessment is based upon the most fundamental and readily available public data.  This assessment uses recent inventory data from the US Forest Service, 2011 land cover data from US Geological Survey, ownership data from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and soils, terrain, and population data from various agencies.  In addition, harvest notification records from the Virginia Department of Forestry are used to characterize the areas within Virginia that have experienced harvests within the last 5 years.  These data are collated and analyzed to determine the forest resource potentially available for harvest, and how recent harvest levels compare to forest growth as reported by the forest inventory.

Assessment of Virginia’s Commercial Wood Supply

Wisconsin Wood Supply Assessment


Wisconsin has one of the nation’s largest forest products industries and are leaders in pulp and paper production.  Wisconsin has a rich supply of forest resources but over the past decade the forest products industry has seen decline, evidenced by the closure of mills and increased raw material costs.  As part of a study that seeks to better understand the costs and benefits of forest policies and regulations on wood supply, CeNRADS is conducting a comprehensive wood supply assessment for the state.  Our analysis takes into account factors that are known to constrain timber inventory availability and include physical and socioeconomic constraints.  The suite of tools and techniques developed in modeling projects conducted in Virginia are being implemented to better understand the current use and future sustainability of Wisconsin’s forest resource.  

Sponsor(s): NCASI, Wisconsin Forestry Practices Study

2014 Virginia Nonindustrial Private Forest Landowner Survey

Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners own the majority of forestland in Virginia and play an important role in supplying timber to markets.  Landowners are diverse in their management goals and do not always choose to harvest timber.  The objectives of the survey include gathering characteristic information about NIPF landowners in the state and identifying factors related to their attitudes toward timber harvesting.  A questionnaire was developed and mailed to 3,000 Virginia owners of at least ten acres of forestland.  Attitudes towards harvesting timber captured in the questionnaire were used to predict landowners’ willingness to harvest based on descriptive variables such as the region within Virginia, size of forested tract owned, and size of total land holdings.  Results from this study are being incorporated into wood supply models.  

Sponsor(s): CeNRADS Partners

Summary of Nonindustrial Private Landowner Survey in Virginia

Center Activity:

June 2016 Quarterly Report

Assessment of Virginia’s
Commercial Wood Supply

Summary of Nonindustrial Private
Landowner Survey in Virginia

Assessing the Sustainability of Virginia’s Commercial Wood Supply- Presentation to Virginia Forestry Summit, April 15, 2015

Contact Us:

 Center for Natural Resources
Assessment and Decision Support

Corporate Research Center
1900 Kraft Drive, Suite 250
Moss Building (Mail Code 0534)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540-231-5833
FAX:  540-231-7019


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