This paper documents methods for assessing the potential effects of variable-intensity management in late-successional reserves (LSRs) and provides an example (the Gotchen LSR) from the Cascade Range in eastern Washington. The Gotchen LSR study investigates changes in forest vegetation associated with silvicultural treatments, and how different treatment combinations may affect landscape patterns, LSR habitat objectives, fire hazard, and the characteristics and value of wood removed over space and time. The study contributes to the conceptual and technical development of a decision-analysis tool, the northeastern Cascades landscape analysis, management, and monitoring system (NOCLAMMS), for land management. Landscape evaluation of the Gotchen LSR reveals that since the 1930s, forest structures have become more homogeneous; area and average patch size of young, multistoried forest stands have decreased; and spatial patterns of late-successional forest have changed. These changes alter vegetation response to disturbances like fires, insects, and diseases, and suggest that different structures and patterns may better support LSR objectives over space and time. Study results aid in identifying candidate treatment areas, in developing prescriptions to maintain or restore desired stand structures and patterns, and in understanding the financial commitment necessary for different management actions. Silvicultural treatments are applied by using the forest vegetation simulator (FVS). The financial evaluation of ecosystem management activities (FEEMA) software is used to calculate net revenues associated with different treatments. Results from one stand illustrate these methods.
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Hummel, Susan Stevens; Barbour, R. James; Hessburg, Paul F.; Lehmkuhl, John F. 2001. Ecological and financial assessment of late-successional reserve management. Res. Note PNW-RN-531. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 25 p