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Richard Haynes ’75 Honored with Marcus Wallenberg Prize

Richard Haynes ‘75 has had a lifelong impact on the field of forestry, with his work recently being recognized with the 2023 Marcus Wallenberg Prize. The prestigious honor was awarded to Haynes, alongside fellow researchers Darius M. Adams and Joseph Buongiorno, for their development of groundbreaking forest economic models.

The Marcus Wallenberg Prize aims “to recognize, encourage and stimulate pathbreaking scientific achievements which contribute significantly to broadening knowledge and to technical development within the fields of importance to forestry and forest industries.”

Haynes is the third scientist with NC State ties to win the Marcus Wallenberg Prize since its inception in 1981. His work has been influential for many in the forestry field, including Fred Cubbage, a professor of forestry and environmental resources at the NC State College of Natural Resources.

“The Marcus Wallenberg Prize is indeed a great honor for Dr. Haynes and his colleagues — and a reflection of NC State’s long tradition in forestry research excellence,” Cubbage said. “Haynes, Adams and Buongiorno are the first forest economists or social scientists to ever win the award, which has been dominated by biological, forest products and pulp and paper researchers.”

Haynes, who received his Ph.D. in forest management from the College of Natural Resources, worked for more than three decades for the U.S. Forest Service Northwest Research Station in Portland, Oregon.

“It is an honor to be recognized for research first published 43 years ago and used in a number of applications both domestically and internationally,” Haynes said. “Its applications established the work as the state-of-the-art for forest sector models.”

During his career, Haynes specialized in assessing forest resources and markets and played a central role in important events leading up to and through formulation of the Northwest Forest Plan and other regional conservation strategies. 

His breadth of research work has explored the economic impact of preserving old growth forest on public lands in the Pacific Northwest, the effects of waste paper recycling on the forest sector, the impact of private investment in forest management on the US long-term supply of timber, and much more. Pivotal projects he worked on included the 1985-2005 Resources Planning Act Timber Assessments and related timber policy discussions.

Prior to graduate school at NC State, Haynes worked for the federal government in several economic research and analysis settings and enjoyed the scope of research questions. Haynes’ education at NC State helped to continue to foster his passion for forest economics. 

“NC State was recommended to me for its potential to support a program in forest economics,” Haynes said. “Its strong economics and statistical departments were key to that. My prospective major professor Lester Holley was willing to develop a flexible program supporting my interests in economic models that could be used in large-scale policy analysis.”

Holley, an economist who began some of the the first forest sector modeling efforts in the country, had joined the NC State faculty after a distinguished early career with the U.S. Forest Service’s economics unit at the Southern Forest Experiment Station in New Orleans.

“Lester Holley helped develop a flexible program of studies and he used his contacts with the U.S. Forest Service to secure funding that allowed me to pursue my dissertation which was an early version of the model being recognized by the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation,” Haynes said.

In his retirement, Haynes said he has enjoyed doing very little, traveling slowly and visiting his children and his recent grandchildren. He has done some additional consulting around traditional forest economic questions and participated in two oral history interviews revolving around his work at the Northwest Research Station.