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Title: Cumulative ecological and socioeconomic effects of forest policies in coastal Oregon.

Author: Spies, T.A.; Johnson, K.N.; Burnett, K.M.; Ohmann, J.L.; McComb, B.C.; Reeves, G.H.; Bettinger, P.; Kline, J.D.; Garber-Yonts, B.;

Date: 2007

Source: Ecological Applications. 17(1): 5-17

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Forest biodiversity policies in multiownership landscapes are typically developed in an uncoordinated fashion with little consideration of their interactions or possible unintended cumulative effects. We conducted an assessment of some of the ecological and socioeconomic effects of recently enacted forest management policies in the 2.3-million-ha Coast Range Physiographic Province of Oregon. This mountainous area of conifer and hardwood forests includes a mosaic of landowners with a wide range of goals, from wilderness protection to high-yield timber production. We projected forest changes over 100 years in response to logging and development using models that integrate land use change and forest stand and landscape processes. We then assessed responses to those management activities using GIS models of stand structure and composition, landscape structure, habitat models for focal terrestrial and aquatic species, timber production, employment, and willingness to pay for biodiversity protection. Many of the potential outcomes of recently enacted policies are consistent with intended goals. For example, we project the area of structurally diverse older conifer forest and habitat for late-successional wildlife species to strongly increase. Other outcomes might not be consistent with current policies: for example, hardwoods and vegetation diversity strongly decline within and across owners. Some elements of biodiversity, including streams with high potential habitat for coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and sites of potential oak woodland, occur predominately outside federal lands and thus were not affected by the strongest biodiversity policies. Except for federal lands, biodiversity policies were not generally characterized in sufficient detail to provide clear benchmarks against which to measure the progress or success. We conclude that land management institutions and policies are not well configured to deal effectively with ecological issues that span broad spatial and temporal scales and that alternative policies could be constructed that more effectively provide for a mix of forest values from this region.

Keywords: Biodiversity, forest management, landscape patterns, old growth, ownership effects, salmon habitat, timber production, wildlife habitat

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Spies, T.A.; Johnson, K.N.; Burnett, K.M.; Ohmann, J.L.; McComb, B.C.; Reeves, G.H.; Bettinger, P.; Kline, J.D.; Garber-Yonts, B. 2007. Cumulative ecological and socioeconomic effects of forest policies in coastal Oregon. Ecological Applications. 17(1): 5-17

 


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