The authors gratefully acknowledge the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Turner Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, and the Luce Foundation for supporting this research, the Switzer Environmental Leadership Program Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for supporting the follow-on workshops, and the Northern Forest Center for helping guide the project and organize the advisory board. We thank the members of the advisory board for their time and ideas, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests for their meeting spaces, and John Sterman for comments and suggestions on the article.
Resource sustainability in commodity systems: the sawmill industry in the Northern Forest†
Article first published online: 12 JUL 2002
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
System Dynamics Review
Special Issue: The Global Citizen: Celebrating the Life of Dana Meadows
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 171–204, Summer 2002
How to Cite
Jones, A., Seville, D. and Meadows, D. (2002), Resource sustainability in commodity systems: the sawmill industry in the Northern Forest. Syst. Dyn. Rev., 18: 171–204. doi: 10.1002/sdr.238
- Issue published online: 12 JUL 2002
- Article first published online: 12 JUL 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: MAR 2002
- Manuscript Received: OCT 2001
Many natural resource-based commodity systems exhibit a trio of undesirable behaviors—price instability, resource unsustainability, and inequity among people along the commodity chain. In this article we share findings from a modeling project that focuses primarily on the second problem, unsustainability, in the forest products economy and forest ecosystem of the Northeastern United States. The model shows the structural potential for lumber industry capacity to overshoot the timber resource of the regional forest. Many of the policies commonly advocated in response to resource shortage, such as boosting mill efficiencies and eliminating log exports, appear unlikely to solve the problem. We identify several policies with the potential to help sustain both the industry and resource base. We also share insights on how to design a modeling and intervention process when addressing policy problems for which no single organization has direct responsibility. Finally, we consider ways to navigate through three prevalent “defensive routines”—denial, resignation, and despair—that are often barriers to constructive discussion on how to address potential limits to growth. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.