Tackling risks at the broad scale in the Interior Columbia Basin.Author(s): Sally Duncan
Source: Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. July (5): 1-5
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionExamining biophysical and social conditions, trends, and opportunities, the Columbia basin assessment draws a composite picture of the basin with two integrated measures: ecological integrity (the presence and functioning of ecological components and processes) and socioeconomic resiliency (the social and economic adaptability of a geographic area to outside economic influences like reduction of timber supply). The resulting pictures is complex with great variation across the basin.
Scientists used these two measures to balance ecological risk, management opportunity, and public choice. An iterative process was developed for finding where risks to ecological goals are acceptable and output levels are achieved to the extent possible. The process brings up questions like "Are we willing to trade away timber output to save a single species?" and reveals unanticipated risks, for example, a program of controlled burning to reduce wildfire risk could increase sediment input to streams and raise smoke levels unacceptably. The scientists ultimately developed a set of three scenarios for using assessment information to play out the probable effects of various management approaches at a basinwide scale.
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CitationDuncan, Sally. 1998. Tackling risks at the broad scale in the Interior Columbia Basin. Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. July (5): 1-5
- Integrated scientific assessment for ecosystem management in the interior Columbia Basin and portions of the Klamath and Great Basins.
- Evaluation of EIS alternatives by the science integration team, volume I.
- Status of the interior Columbia Basin: summary of scientific findings.
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