We synthesize the biology and ecology of the Cope's giant salamander. We have conducted the first compilation of known sites for the species, to aid status assessments and conservation planning. Known and suspected threats to the species are summarized. Considerations for species and species-habitat management are provided.
We provide a comprehensive synthesis of the biology and ecology of the Van Dyke's Salamander, review known and suspected threats, and outline alternative management considerations. This species is agency sensitive and is listed as a Survey and Manage species under the Northwest Forest Plan. This document will aid Forest Service Region 6 forest managers and biologists in planning for projects within the species range in Washington, especially on National Forests in the Olympic Peninsula and Cascade Range.
Climate change is expected to alter the composition, structure, and function of forested ecosystems in the United States (Vose et al. 2012). Increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide [CO2]) and temperature, as well as altered precipitation and disturbance regimes (e.g., fire, insects, pathogens, and windstorms), are expected to have profound effects on biodiversity, socioeconomics, and the delivery of ecosystem services within the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP, or Plan) area over the next century (Dale et al. 2001, Franklin et al. 1991). The ecological interactions and diversity of biophysical settings in the region are complex. The effects of climate change on ecological processes will occur through a variety of mechanisms at a range of spatial scales and levels of biological organization, ranging from the physiological responses of individual plants to the composition and structure of stands and landscapes (Peterson et al. 2014a). Understanding and incorporating how climate change projections and the potential ecological effects and uncertainties differ within the region (e.g., Deser et al. 2012) is essential for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The worldwide decline of large carnivores is concerning, particularly given the important roles they play in shaping ecosystems and conserving biodiversity. Estimating the capacity of an ecosystem to support a large carnivore population is essential for establishing reasonable and quantifiable recovery goals, determining how population recovery may rely on connectivity, and determining the feasibility of investing limited public resources toward recovery. We present a case study that synthesized advances in habitat selection and spatiallyexplicit individual-based population modeling, while integrating habitat data, human activities, demographic parameters and complex life histories to estimate grizzly bear carrying capacity in the North Cascades Ecosystem in Washington. Because access management plays such a critical role in wildlife conservation, we also quantified road influence on carrying capacity. Carrying capacity estimatesranged from 83 to 402 female grizzly bears. As expected, larger home ranges resulted in smaller populations and roads decreased habitat effectiveness by over 30%. Because carrying capacity was estimated with a static habitat map, the output is best interpreted as an index of habitat carrying capacity under current conditions. The mid-range scenario results of 139 females, or a total population of 278 bears, represented the most plausible scenario for this ecosystem. Grizzly bear distribution generally corresponded to areas with higher quality habitat and less road influence near the central region of the ecosystem. Our results reaffirm the North Cascades Ecosystem's capacity to support a robust grizzly bear population. Our approach, however, can assist managers anywhere ecosystem-specific information is limited. This approach may be useful to land and wildlife managers as they consider grizzly bear population recovery objectives and make important decisions relative to the conservation of wildlife populations worldwide.
The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1990 (USFWS 1990). Providing adequate amounts of suitable forest cover to sustain the subspecies was a major component of the first recovery plan for northern spotted owls (USFWS 1992) and a driver in the basic reserve design and old-forest restoration under the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP, or Plan) (USDA and USDI 1994). The reserve design included large contiguous blocks of late-successional forest, which was expected to be sufficient to provide habitat for many interacting pairs of northern spotted owls. As such, the selection of reserves generally favored areas with the highest quality old-growth forests, but some areas of younger forest were also included with the expectation that they would eventually develop suitable forest structure characteristics and contribute to spatial patterns that would sustain spotted owl populations.
In this chapter, we describe expectations of the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP, or Plan) and review recent science on the ecology and status of the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), with an emphasis on the portion of the species’ range that falls within the Plan area. The conservation strategy embodied in the NWFP evolved from designation and protection of a large number of relatively small management areas to an approach based primarily on the designation of fewer large areas, each designed to conserve functioning late-successional and old-growth ecosystems. These were intended to support multiple pairs of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) and murrelets, and to conserve habitat for other species associated with older forests.
Given the need to conserve forest biodiversity and produce forest products, President Clinton’s vision for the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP, or Plan) was that it would provide “a balanced and comprehensive strategy for the conservation and management of forest ecosystems, while maximizing economic and social benefits from forests” (USDA and USDI 1994: E-1). The Plan was expected to support the production of a predictable, sustainable level of timber and nontimber resources from federal forests to contribute to the stability of local and regional economies over the long term (Charnley et al. 2006a). The Plan also aimed to help rural communities affected by cutbacks in federal timber production by providing economic assistance programs to promote long-term economic development and diversification and minimize the adverse effects of job loss from reductions in timber harvesting (Dillingham 2006).
The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP, or Plan) signified a movement away from intensive focus on timber management that was common through the 1980s and toward an ecosystem management approach, which aims to conserve ecological conditions and restore natural resources while meeting the social, cultural, and economic needs of present and future generations (Brussard et al. 1998). The NWFP emerged in response to expanded scientific knowledge about forests and shifting public values about resources and their management. An important goal of the NWFP was to protect forest values of late-successional, old-growth, and aquatic ecosystems. These may include amenity values (scenery, quality of life), environmental quality (clean air, soil, and water), ecological values (biodiversity), public-use values (outdoor recreation, education, subsistence use), and spiritual values (cultural ties, tribal histories) (Donoghue and Sutton 2006). This synthesis looks at the latest research on many of these forest values and adds to our thinking about how the NWFP has contributed to their protection.
This chapter synthesizes literature about the relation between federal forest management and low-income and minority populations, as defined by Executive Order (E.O.) 12898 (February 16, 1994)—“Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (Clinton 1994). The order requires federal land managers to identify and address any disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects of agency programs, policies, and actions on minority and low-income populations. In this chapter, we use the term “environmental justice populations” to refer to populations protected by E.O. 12898 in matters of environmental justice (defined below). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) primarily address environmental justice in their land and resource management planning processes. For example, the Forest Service 2012 planning rule2 requires responsible officials to “encourage participation by youth, low-income, and minority populations” (p. 21167) throughout all stages of the planning process, and, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, preparation of an environmental impact statement that includes impacts on low-income and minority populations.