Summary of timber merchantability standards by forest regions
Specifications of merchantability standards in this report are generally a reaffirmation of previous surveys as determined through personal contacts with timber buyers, sellers, consulting foresters and agents in previous surveys, as well as the present survey. The specifications are those generally recognized by the industrial users of timber and adhered to by the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services Forestry Unit in the valuation of forestland.
Development of stumpage prices
It has been the practice of the Forest Land Appraisal Unit of the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) to periodically conduct a wood-using industry study for the purpose of obtaining timber stumpage values and timber merchantability standards which are required for the effective appraisal of standing timber.
During this study, after the stumpage data is collected, it is trended on graphs to adjust any short term or sporadic fluctuations in the market. After trending, the values are mathematically adjusted for various volumes and logging conditions. For example, trees grown on steep or rocky ground far from an established road are more expensive to harvest. The stumpage value of such wood is generally less than trees growing on flat ground near a road. Mathematical adjustments are based on research done by the U.S. Forest Service, which is published in the Forest Service Handbook on Timber Appraisal. It is the goal of this stumpage report to accurately reflect general, overall market conditions and smooth out short term shifts in the price of timber.
$/mbf: Dollars per thousand board feet (International 1/4" Log Rule)
NYS DEC: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Base price: The 'base price' criteria include the following: 'woods-run' log quality, an uncut stand, accessible within 1/4 mile of an all-weather road, and topography that allows easy logging.
Accessibility: A correction to adjust timber price for distance from the road: remote timber is >1/4 mile from an all-weather road.
Code: A volume code indicating whether a species is valued in board feet or in cubic feet (pulpwood) - varies by region.
Cut class factor: A negative adjustment for stands that have been cut, leaving lower quality timber than is found in stands which are uncut.
Logging difficulty: A negative adjustment is applied to timber that is more difficult to access because of terrain steepness and/or where roughness makes access difficult:
Easy logging: 0 to 20% slope
Difficult logging: 20 - 40% slope
Uneconomical Logging: >40% slope.
Stand condition adjustment: A correction relating to timber volume, whereby stands with a lesser volume of timber tend to have a reduced value, because timber is more dispersed per acre, making it more costly to remove it.
Stumpage value: The price paid for standing timber (usually $/mbf).