Stumpage value is the monetary value of standing timber, or the price a landowner typically receives for harvested trees. Delivered value is the price of stumpage plus logging, transportation, and site stabilization costs, also known as the price to the logger.
From 1995 to 2003, stumpage values of total roundwood output increased from $50.2 million to $71.3 million (42 percent). In 2005, stumpage values decreased to $57.7 million and by 2007, had reached a low of $38.9 million, a 22 percent drop since 1995. Stumpage price is an important factor in determining when timberland owners will offer their trees for sale.
From 1995-1999, delivered average annual values decreased from $ 155.4 million to $134.2 million (down 14 percent). From 1999 to 2003, delivered average annual values increased from $134.2 to $165.2 million (up 23 percent). With a shrinking regional economy and closing of 4 mills, both the delivered and stumpage values continued to decline after 2003. From 2003 to 2007, delivered average annual values dropped from $165.2 million to $110 million.
According to North Carolina Agricultural Statistics, the total forest products income for years, 2005 and 2006 for all eighteen counties was $93.9 million and $ 86.2 million, respectively (totals vary due to data collection differences). In these two years, the counties with the highest revenues were Wilkes, Haywood, Yancey, Ashe, and Madison.
Value of Forest Products
Payments in Lieu of Taxes
Payments in lieu of taxes are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries, such as national forests. The funds are reserved for local governments (usually counties) that provide services related to public safety, environment, housing, social assistance, and transportation. From 2001 to 2007, counties with land in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests received on average $1.35 an acre or $2.2 million annually. Recently, the U.S. Congress increased the allocation to $2.35 per acre and, in 2009, the counties received twice that of the previous yearly average or $4.4 million.
Paper, Plastic, Metal, Glass Recovery
In fiscal year 2008-2009, Buncombe County ranked fourth out of North Carolina's 100 counties in residential recycling. Three counties outside the region, Pitt, Catawba, and Dare, were the only counties in North Carolina that ranked above Buncombe in per county recycling. Buncombe has a per capita recovery rate of around 443 pounds, which is almost three times the state average. The success of Buncombe County’s program can be credited to recycling infrastructure (curbside recycling and drop-off centers), educational efforts and community leadership.
Nearly half of the top 20 per capita recycling counties are located in Western North Carolina. Rural counties like Swain County ranked sixth with a per capita recovery of 270 pounds and a population of around 14,000. Swain has stationed recycling trailers, mostly at schools throughout the county, and also works with businesses to facilitate the recycling of cardboard and plastics. State grants to Swain County have helped improve recycling efforts by allowing the county to purchase trucks and other equipment. Macon, Haywood, and Watauga Counties also performed well in the ranking. The amount of materials recycled statewide in fiscal year 2008-09 increased by 3.2 percent.
Paper and Wood Recovery
Buncombe County is also the leader in the region for wood product recovery, reporting around 43,000 tons of cardboard and paper recovery in 2008-09. Haywood recycles over 4,000 tons of wood product recovery, followed by Watauga (3,500 tons), Macon (2,300 tons), and Henderson (2,000 tons).
Local recycling programs are important to economic development, as companies in the state rely on the flow of materials from recycling programs to sustain and create new jobs. By 2012, the state hopes to recycle 2 million tons annually from local programs and to successfully implement upcoming disposal bans on plastic bottles, wooden pallets and motor-vehicle oil filters.