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Dynamic landscape managementAuthor(s): Valerie Rapp
Source: Science Update 3. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 11 p.
Publication Series: Science Update
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionPacific Northwest forests and all their species evolved with fires, floods, windstorms, landslides, and other disturbances. The dynamics of disturbance were basic to how forests changed and renewed. Disturbance regimes, as scientists call the long-term patterns of these events—what kind of event, how often, how large, and how severe—created the landscape patterns seen historically in the forests. Forest management is creating new landscape patterns in the forests of western Oregon and Washington. In some cases, the large-scale patterns are unplanned because management focus has been on actions and consequences at smaller scales. In other cases, managers did plan landscape patterns, but some of the results are now considered undesirable. Dynamic landscape management uses historical disturbance regimes as a reference. By emulating key aspects of the historical disturbance regimes through forest management practices, scientists and managers expect to sustain native species and habitats and maintain ecological processes within their historical ranges, while providing a sustained flow of timber. Scientists from the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station and managers from the Willamette National Forest are using this approach in the Blue River Landscape Study, a 57,000- acre experiment in forest management in the Oregon Cascade Range. In this study, if the approach is carried out for the long term, dynamic landscape management should result in a less fragmented landscape, with more mature and old forest than would be produced by the matrix-and-reserves approach of the Northwest Forest Plan. The ideas and the study are explained inside.
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CitationRapp, Valerie . 2002. Dynamic landscape management. Science Update 3. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 11 p.
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