Economics of early intervention to suppress a potential spruce budworm outbreak in New Brunswick, Canada
University of New Brunswick
Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) (SBW) outbreak is the most prominent natural disturbance in eastern Canada. Recently, an early intervention strategy (EIS) has been developed against SBW outbreaks in New Brunswick (NB). In this study, a Spruce Budworm Decision Support System (SBW DSS) was coupled with a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to assess the impacts of forest protection strategies in NB. The results demonstrated that a future SBW outbreak would reduce up to $35.31 billion of NB current value total domestic output. Regarding the efficacy of forest protection strategies, the EIS was predicted to be the most cost-effective and economically efficient. In contrast, if a future SBW outbreak exits, the EIS Fails & Reactive Strategy was anticipated to be more beneficial than the traditional Reactive Strategy. Overall, these results support the continued use of EIS as the most preferred strategy on economic grounds to protect against SBW outbreaks in NB. Abbreviations: SBW, spruce budworm; GDP, gross domestic production; Btk, Bacillus thuringiensis Kurstaki; NB, New Brunswick; EIS, early intervention strategy; SBW DSS, spruce budworm decision support system; GIS, geographic information system; BCA, benefit-cost analysis; CGE, computable general equilibrium; WS, white spruce; RS, red spruce; BS, black spruce; BF, balsam fir; CES, constant elasticity of substitution; CET, constant elasticity of transformation; WTP, willingness to pay; CVM, contingent valuation method; BCR, benefit-cost ratio; NPV, net present value.