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    Over the past 25 years, renewable resource assessments have addressed demand, supply, and inventory of various renewable resources in increasingly sophisticated fashion, including simulation and optimization analyses of area changes in land uses (e.g., urbanization) and land covers (e.g., plantations vs. naturally regenerated forests). This synthesis reviews related research over the more than two decades since area projection modeling systems replaced expert opinion approaches in the national Resources Planning Act (RPA) assessments, as part of state of the art approaches for regional and national resources assessments. Such models reflect that key land base changes such as afforestation and deforestation are driven by quite different socio-economic factors. Projections of area changes are important for a wide range of natural resource analyses, including those for wildlife habitat, timber supply, global climate change, water, recreation, and others. The demand for applications in global change analyses has increased recently, and the synthesis addresses information needs in such macro assessments. Significant challenges in the research area in general include systematic integration of approaches and therefore findings across resource areas to support sustainability analyses. Another challenge is a unified view of future forest conditions constructed at a scale that serves all of these uses adequately.

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    Alig, Ralph J. 2004. Methods for projecting large-scale area changes for U.S. land uses and land covers: the past and the future. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-656. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 11 p

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