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North American Forest Futures 2018-2090: Scenarios for Building a More Resilient Forest Sector

Formally Refereed
Authors: David N. Bengston, Jonathan Peck, Robert Olson, Melissa Barros, Richard A. Birdsey, Daniel R. Williams, Juan Carlos Leyva Reyes, Francisco José Zamudio
Year: 2018
Type: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: World Futures Review


North American forests and forest management institutions are experiencing a wide range of significant ecological disturbances and socioeconomic changes, which point to the need for enhanced resilience. A critical capacity for resilience in institutions is strategic foresight. This article reports on a project of the North American Forest Commission to use Futures Research to enhance the resilience of forest management institutions in North America. The Aspirational Futures Method was used to develop four alternative scenarios for the future of North American forests and forestry agencies: (1) an extrapolation of current trends into the expectable future titled Stressed Forests, (2) a scenario of growing desperation titled Megadisturbances Call for Military Intervention, (3) a high aspiration future titled High Tech Transformation and Cooperation, and (4) an alternative pathway to a highly preferable future titled Cultural Transformation Embraces Indigenous Values. These scenarios will be used in discussions and futures exercises with forestry leaders to develop foresight and assure that plans are responsive to the challenges and opportunities ahead.


scenarios, Aspirational Futures, North American Forest Commission, forestry, forest service, resilience


Bengston, David N.; Peck, Jonathan; Olson, Robert; Barros, Melissa; Birdsey, Richard A.; Williams, Daniel R.; Leyva Reyes, Juan Carlos; Jos Zamudio, Francisco. 2018. North American Forest Futures 2018-2090: Scenarios for Building a More Resilient Forest Sector. World Futures Review. 10(2): 152-169.