Recent research and species distribution modeling predict large changes in the distributions of species and vegetation types in the western interior of the United States in response to climate change.
Soils are the fundamental resource enabling land to provide a wide array of benefits. Both humans and wildlife rely on soils for the production of life-sustaining nourishment and shelter.
Planning links human and natural systems in the urban-rural interface by engaging people in consideration of the future of natural resources. We review evolving ideas about what planning entails, who it involves, and what its outcomes should be. Sense of place, collaboration, emergent planning, and other new developments in planning are discussed.
We analyzed wildfire exposure for key social and ecological features on the national forests in Oregon and Washington. The forests contain numerous urban interfaces, old growth forests, recreational sites, and habitat for rare and endangered species. Many of these resources are threatened by wildfire, especially in the east Cascade Mountains fire-prone forests.
Addressing wildfire is not simply a fire management, fire operations, or wildland-urban interface problem - it is a larger, more complex land management and societal issue. The vision for the next century is to: Safely and effectively extinguish fire, when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a Nation, live with wildland fire.
The impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems are likely to require changes in forest planning and natural resource management. Changes in tree growth, disturbance extent and intensity, and eventually species distributions are expected. In natural resource management and planning, ecosystem models are typically used to provide a "best estimate" about how forests might work in the future and thus guide decision-making.
Concern over increased wildland fire threats on public lands throughout the western United States makes fuel reduction activities the primary driver of many management projects. This single-issue focus recalls a management planning process practiced frequently in recent decades - a least-harm approach where the primary objective is first addressed and then plans are modified to mitigate adverse effects to other resources.
There has been an increasing public concern over forest stream pollution by excessive sedimentation due to natural or human disturbances. Adequate erosion simulation tools are needed for sound management of forest resources.
There has been considerable research concerning the extent and effect of urbanization and fragmentation and the importance of monitoring current and potential magnitudes of change is recognized. However, there are limited guidelines for interpreting fragmentation data or for their application for analysis and statewide planning efforts.
Timber harvest following wildfire leads to different outcomes depending on the biophysical setting of the forest, pattern of burn severity, operational aspects of tree removal, and other management activities. Fire effects range from relatively minor, in which fire burns through the understory and may kill a few trees, to severe, in which fire kills most trees and removes much of the organic soil layer.