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Keyword: sustainability

Grassland, forest and riparian ecosystems on mixed-ownership federal lands adjacent to the Crow Indian Reservation: Developing a protective shield for sustainability of the environment and culture from the impacts of climate-related disturbance

Publications Posted on: April 21, 2020
Between 2016 and 2018, the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute hosted a team of scholars to reflect on how Federal agencies can best prescribe restoration for conditions associated with climate change-induced disturbance to protect sustainability in mixed-ownership lands, with a focus on the Upper Missouri River Basin.

Social complexity and sustainability

Publications Posted on: March 04, 2020
Social complexity and sustainability emerge from successful problem solving, rather than directly from environmental conditions. Social complexity develops from problem solving at all scales from local to national and international. Complexity in problem solving is an economic function, and can both support and hinder sustainability. Sustainability outcomes may take decades or centuries to develop.

Climate, environment, and disturbance history govern resilience of Western North American forests

Publications Posted on: July 15, 2019
Before the advent of intensive forest management and fire suppression, western North American forests exhibited a naturally occurring resistance and resilience to wildfires and other disturbances. Resilience, which encompasses resistance, reflects the amount of disruption an ecosystem can withstand before its structure or organization qualitatively shift to a different basin of attraction.

Barriers to natural regeneration in temperate forests across the USA

Publications Posted on: January 28, 2019
For millennia, natural disturbance regimes, including anthropogenic fire and hunting practices, have led to forest regeneration patterns that created a diversity of forest lands across the USA. But dramatic changes in climates, invasive species, and human population, and land use have created novel disturbance regimes that are causing challenges to securing desired natural regeneration.

Impacts of bio-based energy generation fuels on water and soil resources [Chapter 7]

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2018
The use of bio-based fuels for energy generation can have positive or negative impacts on water and resources. To best understand these impacts, the effects of bioenergy systems on water and soil resources should be assessed as part of an integrated analysis considering environmental, social and economic dimensions.

Rangelands on the Edge: Quantifying the modification, fragmentation, and future residential development of U.S. rangelands

Publications Posted on: August 08, 2018
Rangelands are increasingly urban, subdivided, and fragmented. About 62 percent of coterminous U.S. rangelands occur on private land and are at further risk for conversion.

Disturbance processes and ecosystem management

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
This paper is intended to broaden awareness and help develop consensus among USDA Forest Service scientists and resource managers about the role and significance of disturbance in ecosystem dynamics and, hence, resource management. To have an effective ecosystem management policy, resource managers and the public must understand the nature of ecological resiliency and stability and the role of natural disturbance on sustainability.

Burgeoning biomass: Creating efficient and sustainable forest biomass supply chains in the Rockies

Pages Posted on: April 11, 2018
Woody biomass could be used to generate energy in the western U.S. if the utilization process is both economically feasible and ecologically sustainable. The purpose of the RMRS-led Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is to develop technologies, approaches, and new science that will help to make this possible. This issue of the Bulletin is focused on research addressing challenges of the biomass supply chain, from the time that a forest treatment is initiated to the time that the biomass residue reaches an end user (a later issue will address the technology of biomass conversion after the material is delivered). A major roadblock to effective biomass utilization is the high handling costs and low market value of woody biomass. As part of this project, new technologies are being developed to enhance biomass resources assessment, improve supply chain logistics, and reduce handling costs through equipment modification and more efficiently managing operations in forest treatment areas. and quickly assessing forest biomass supplies, new and innovative tools are now available.

Burgeoning biomass: Creating efficient and sustainable forest bioenergy technologies in the Rockies, part II

Pages Posted on: April 03, 2018
Woody biomass could be used to generate renewable bioenergy and bioproducts in the western U.S. and has the potential to offer environmental and societal benefits. The purpose of the Rocky Mountain Research Station-led Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) project is to research and develop technologies, approaches, and new science that will help to make this possible. Part one of this series (September/October 2014) addressed the economic and environmental challenges of the biomass supply chain, from the site of harvest to the bioenergy facility— from "cradle to gate." This issue of the Bulletin is focused on the supply chain from the conversion facility to end use, covering material processing, conversion, end use, and disposal—from "gate to grave." Research findings have the potential to facilitate biomass utilization as a feasible renewable energy option to offset fossil fuels, reduce our long-term carbon emissions, and address many significant forest management challenges.

Rangeland resource trends in the United States: A technical document supporting the 2000 USDA Forest Service RPA Assessment

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
This report documents trends in America's rangelands as required by the Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. The Forest Service has conducted assessments of the rangeland situation for 30 years. Over this period, rangeland values and uses have gradually shifted from concentrating upon forage production and meeting increasing demand for red meat to a more broad-based understanding under a framework of sustainable resource management.