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Title: The strategy and design of the effectiveness monitoring program for the Northwest Forest Plan.

Author: Mulder, Barry S.; Noon, Barry R.; Spies, Thomas A.; Raphael, Martin G.; Palmer, Craig J.; Olsen, Anthony R.; Reeves, Gordon H.; Welsh, Hartwell H. Jr.

Date: 1999

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-437. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 138 p

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: This report describes the logic and design of an effectiveness monitoring program for the Northwest Forest Plan. The program is prospective, providing an early warning of environmental change before irreversible loss has occurred. Monitoring is focused at two resource levels: individual species and specific ecosystem types. Selection of prospective indicators for the status of species or ecosystems is based on the development of conceptual models relating resource change to reliable, early warning signals of change. Ecosystems, such as late seral stage forest communities, are monitored on the basis of critical structural and compositional elements that reflect the state of underlying ecological processes. The assumption is that systems retain their ecological integrity to the extent that key biotic and physical processes are sustained. For species of concern, the design integrates animal populations with their necessary habitat and projects changes in population status by monitoring significant changes in habitat at several spatial scales. Anticipatory forecasting of changes in population status assumes habitat to be a reliable surrogate for direct population measures. A surrogate-based approach requires an active period of model building that relates population to habitat variation to develop robust wildlife relation models. Essential components needed for program implementation, such as data collection, information management, report preparation, and feedback to management, are discussed. This discussion includes recommendations for staffing, funding, and establishing a long-term commitment for a large, interagency monitoring program.

Keywords: Northwest Forest Plan, ecological monitoring, effectiveness monitoring, adaptive management, regional scale, habitat basis, conceptual model, predictive model, integration, summary report, interpretive report, institutionalize

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Mulder, Barry S.; Noon, Barry R.; Spies, Thomas A.; Raphael, Martin G.; Palmer, Craig J.; Olsen, Anthony R.; Reeves, Gordon H.; Welsh, Hartwell H., Jr. 1999. The strategy and design of the effectiveness monitoring program for the Northwest Forest Plan. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-437. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 138 p

 


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