Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Donald G. Hodges

Committee Members

Christopher M. Oswalt, John M. Zobel


The objective of the research was to investigate the feasibility and potential opportunities for using broad-scale forest inventory data for identifying high-probability sites containing longleaf and slash pine stumps. The purpose was to assist in locating resinous stumps for today’s remaining naval stores industry. USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) Phase 2 plots where longleaf and slash pine were present were observed. Plots were also limited to those which had been re-measured at least once. Variables observed include basal area, diameter, recent cutting, and past cutting. FIA’s Timber Products Output data regarding mill sourcing were assessed as well. Once selected, these variables were displayed using Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolated mapping. An index of suitability was developed, and the values were then combined to create a composite map of “hot-spots”. To obtain the most beneficial view, nine scenarios were developed with different weights distributed across the variables. The data were too broad-scale to identify specific tracts of land for resinous stump resources. However, interpolated mapping provided some broader insights into resource availability and potential. This information, as well as relationships between resources and ownership, are useful to the wood-based rosin industry. Comparing interpolated maps of FIA phase 2 data with county-level procurement records allowed for the identification of areas where potential for the resource was high (basal area, diameter, cutting, etc.), yet no stump utilization was currently taking place. Many of these areas were selected and field-checked. The findings did prove fairly accurate upon field testing and suggested an approximate 85% success rate. Several ideas for future developments and methods were also shared. These included the need for spatial procurement data, more spatial analysis, and the incorporation of newer tools for prospecting.

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