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Rajan Parajuli

Asst Professor

Jordan Hall 3126


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Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/25
Amount: $648,004.00
Funding Agencies: USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The United States (U.S.) South, 13 southeastern states from Virginia to Texas, has approximately 245 million acres of forestland, covering about 46% of the total land use. Forestry operations, logging, and wood-based manufacturing industries are vital to the rural economy, as the forest product industry is one of the top employers among all manufacturing industries in rural counties. Since early 2020, every sector of the economy throughout the world has grappled with the global COVID-19 Pandemic, and forestry and forest product industry are no exception. The overall goal of this project is to evaluate the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on forestry and forest product industry in the U.S. South, and identify, develop, and disseminate the strategies to revitalize the southern forest-based rural economy in the post-pandemic era. The specific objectives are to: 1) evaluate the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on roundwood markets, forest landowners, and forest management in the U.S. South; 2) examine the impacts of the pandemic on forest-based employment and workforce involved in the forestry supply chain in rural southern states; 3) investigate the pandemic impacts on the forest product industry including their corporate social responsibility contribution during the pandemic; and 4) develop and deliver an Extension program in the post-pandemic forest management strategies and rural economic development to promote rural prosperity in forested counties in the U.S. South. Understanding the Pandemic impacts on the forest sector and exploring the possible forest management strategies in the post-pandemic era could help develop public policies and revitalize the forest-based rural county economies in the southern states.

Date: 09/15/22 - 12/30/25
Amount: $53,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service

The research will develop a general conceptual model of the legal, institutional, and economic factors that are required to translate broad international and national policy goals to use forests to store carbon and mitigate climate change into practical on-the-ground approaches that will be required for public policies, public agencies, and public and private landowners to change their land management practices to participate in the programs. Next, we will gauge the amount of land area, funding, technical capacity and personnel, financial incentives, and costs and returns for landowners, and similar components to assess program needs and challenges. We will review the assessments and analyses carried out for our 2020 Criterion 7 Report, including Indicators 45 (Legislation and Policies), Indicator 47 (Taxation and Other Economic Strategies), and Indicator 50 (Programs, Services, and Other Resources), which will support the problem analysis of the subject and will be used to information detailed subsequent research.

Date: 04/01/20 - 3/31/25
Amount: $246,000.00
Funding Agencies: USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The US South has 245 million acres of forestland covering 46% of total land use. This region is the largest wood basket in the world where 60% of US timber derives largely from managed softwood plantations and hardwood forests. These forest systems are major economic engines to rural economies. However, nationwide, forest resources has the lowest minority representation within Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences and even lower representation in the US South. Diversity enrollment and matriculation have failed due to poor intersections of academic support, peer community support, mentoring, leadership development, and ????????????????readiness??????????????? work skills. This NNF program builds on a pilot program to pipeline minority undergraduates from HBCUs to successful graduate training in forest resources at NC State University (NCSU). The proposed program recruits HBCU undergraduates and offers pre-admission mentoring and professional development for a Master??????????????????s of Forestry at NCSU. Our NNF program will recruit and retain four, high-caliber minority forestry graduate students and prepare them for matriculation and professional success through NNF-specific programmatic, curricular, and industry experiences in forest resources. Key NNF program elements are a minority Mentoring/Leadership Community (MLC), certified forest curriculum, and industry internships in the automation, economics, biotechnology, and science communication of forest resources. The NNF cohort will mentor minority undergraduates, disseminate their experiences, network with professionals, and participate in annual NNF program performance assessment to support pipeline sustainability. This project supports USDA??????????????????s goal to develop a diverse and highly-skilled workforce for employment shortages in forest resources.

Date: 07/26/22 - 2/28/25
Amount: $80,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service

Forest disturbances such as fires, insect damage, drought, etc. are not uncommon events. The extent and intensity of these disturbances, however, can turn them into catastrophic events. Hurricane damage is one such event, often destroying large areas or forestland, with negative consequences to economies and ecosystems. While forest landowners face direct economic loss from tree mortality and damage, hurricane damage can also impact local and neighboring forest industry, by way of timber supply losses to local and neighboring primary wood processing mills. The proposed project aims to develop methodology to rapidly evaluate hurricane impacts to primary mills and, therefore, to economies of affected areas. Work will be directed to identify and quantify impacts to woodsheds of both directly affected and neighboring areas. Impacts to neighboring areas can result from potential shifts in wood procurement by mills in hurricane affected areas.

Date: 10/15/21 - 12/30/24
Amount: $185,000.00
Funding Agencies: California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)

This project will involve conducting an economic contribution analysis of the urban and community forest industries in CA and selected regions in CA.

Date: 08/15/21 - 7/31/24
Amount: $299,776.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The overarching goal of the project is to understand how Community Forestry (CF) influenced the dynamics of the integrated Socio-Environmental System (iSES) in which CF is a vital part. To achieve this goal, the following major research questions will be addressed: (1) How does community forest governance influence the community social capital and livelihoods of participating households? (2) How does CF interact with rural out-migration? (3) How does CF feedback to land use decision? (4) How COVID-19 influenced the rural people??????????????????s livelihoods and CF? (5) How has CF influenced on the goods and services the environmental systems provide? The research will be carried out in the Middle Mountains of Nepal, where CF originated. With help from local collaborators and assistants, we will conduct comprehensive community and household surveys in the study area and use remote sensing and ecological models to address these questions. In the final stage of the project, an Integrated Modeling System (IMS) will be developed and used to examine the dynamics of the iSES.

Date: 06/01/22 - 4/30/24
Amount: $11,965.00
Funding Agencies: US Endowment for Forestry & Communities, Inc.

This project will assess the social and economic impact of forest carbon markets and climate change policy on diverse categories of landowners.

Date: 07/19/22 - 9/30/23
Amount: $64,683.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service

In this proposed second phase, applying the methodological framework developed in Phase I, we will catalog the agroforestry challenges and opportunities in all other states. We will conduct a number of focus group discussions and expert consultations to ensure a diverse and regional perspective on preferential tax programs and agroforestry practices. We plan to incorporate topics related to minority and limited-resource landowners, including heirs??? property owners, to explore their ability to qualify for PPTP. We will reach out to natural resource and tax professionals working with minority landowners to assess their perspectives and specific needs in promoting agroforestry practices. As we process these data, we will continually review statutory, regulatory, and other (guides, manuals) rules and eligibility criteria for other potential challenges and opportunities that were not identified in the pilot states. We will then discuss the implications of the compatibility of these programs with agroforestry practices on the availability of economic relief to all current and potential adopters as well as the environmental benefits from land-use diversification and climate resiliency. This information will inform future human dimensions work by the National Agroforestry Center; in particular, it will provide information on agroforestry enterprise and business planning.

Date: 08/30/18 - 6/30/23
Amount: $95,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Forest Service

This research will continue to perform U.S. assessments of the Montreal Process for Sustainable Forest Management Criteria and Indicators (SFM C&I) for Criterion 7, the development of the legal, institutional, and economic framework for forest conservation and sustainable management. The research will establish a baseline characterization of community forests in the United States. This will begin with documenting and tallying a representative cross section of community forests in the U.S., including but not limited to all those funded through the USFS Community Forest program, by ownership, funding, management, key stakeholders, and other key characteristics. We will analyze the commonalities and differences in community forest definitions by federal, state, and local governments, civil society organizations, and private sector actors. Last, we will analyze tallied/documented community forests in terms of permitted types of land use, access, and benefits in line with property rights theorists (e.g., Schlager and Ostrom 1992; Ostrom and Hess 2007) to better understand the range in ownership and bundles of rights associated with community forests in the U.S.

Date: 12/01/20 - 2/28/23
Amount: $20,678.00
Funding Agencies: International Paper

This research and development project will perform a strategic analysis of wood fiber production opportunities for these two most promising wood fiber supply regions, and drilling down on the merits of a few countries that show the most promise for expansion of wood fiber production and investments in the near future. The overall objective for this research is to perform an analysis of global timber and wood fiber production opportunities for selected regions and countries in the world, focusing on newly developing timber regions and specific countries that are likely to have the most opportunity for expansion of wood fiber production. We will focus on (1) current fiber production and trends, (2) international trade, production and consumption trends of wood products (3) fiber production costs and technology (4) land availability and costs, and (5) institutional and infrastructure factors.

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