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    Author(s): J.H. Cissel; F.J. Swanson; P.J. Weisberg
    Date: 1999
    Source: Ecological Applications. 9(4): 1217-1231
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (929 KB)


    Landscapes administered for timber production by the U.S. Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s-1980s were managed with dispersed patch clearcutting, and then briefly in the late 1980s with aggregated patch clearcutting. In the late 1990s, use of historical landscape patterns and disturbance regimes as a guide for landscape management has emerged as an alternative to the static reserves and standard matrix prescriptions in the Northwest Forest Plan. Use of historical information to guide management recognizes the dynamic and variable character of the landscape and may offer an improved ability to meet ecosystem management objectives. We describe a landscape management plan based in part on interpretations of historical disturbance regimes. The plan contains a reserve system and other landscape areas where three distinct types of timber harvest are prescribed. Timber harvest prescriptions approximate the frequency, severity, and spatial extent of past fires. Future harvest blocks are mapped and used to project forest patterns 200 years forward and to map resulting landscape structure. This plan is compared with an alternative plan for the same area based on the extensive reserves and prescriptions for matrix lands in the Northwest Forest Plan.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Cissel, J.H.; Swanson, F.J.; Weisberg, P.J. 1999. Landscape management using historical fire regimes: Blue River, Oregon. Ecological Applications. 9(4): 1217-1231

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