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Land-use change and new houses on forestland: contrasting trends over 30 years in Oregon and WashingtonAuthor(s): Andrew N. Gray; Joel L. Thompson; Gary J. Lettman
Source: In: Stanton, Sharon M.; Christensen, Glenn A., comps. 2015. Pushing boundaries: new directions in inventory techniques and applications: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2015. 2015 December 8–10; Portland, Oregon. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-931. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 179-183.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionConversion of forest, range, and agricultural resource lands to residential and commercial uses affects the available land base, management practices on remaining resource lands, habitat quality, and ecosystem services. The Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA) mandate includes monitoring changes in the land area in forest use, and this has proved valuable for policy-makers interested in the effectiveness of laws regulating changes in local land-use. A variety of semi-automated approaches have been used to identify land-use change with imagery, but distinguishing changes in land cover from changes in land use has proven difficult in many vegetation types. We mapped land-use zones across Oregon and Washington and identified houses in 33 ha circles around 81,556 photo-points distributed across non-federal ownerships. Interpretations were done using high-resolution digital NAIP imagery and earlier photography, with summaries and spatial analyses done in GIS. We found that the area of nonfederal land in resource land uses (forest, range, and agriculture) declined by 2 percent between 1974 and 2009 in Oregon and by 4 percent between 1976 and 2006 in Washington. After land-use plan implementation in Oregon, nonfederal land converted from resource land uses decreased from 0.37 to 0.10 ha per new resident. In Washington, the loss remained constant at 0.18 ha per new resident. For lands remaining forestland in both states, housing density approximately doubled over a 30-year period. A substantial portion of the increased housing density on forestlands was in close proximity to public lands, suggesting an attraction of development in rural areas to amenities on public forestland. The Oregon Board of Forestry is using this ongoing study to assess the effectiveness of state conservation policies, establish metrics and indicators for use in limiting of productive forestland, and evaluate proposals to modify land-use laws and plans.
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CitationGray, Andrew N.; Thompson, Joel L.; Lettman, Gary J. 2015. Land-use change and new houses on forestland: contrasting trends over 30 years in Oregon and Washington. In: Stanton, Sharon M.; Christensen, Glenn A., comps. 2015. Pushing boundaries: new directions in inventory techniques and applications: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2015. 2015 December 8–10; Portland, Oregon. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-931. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 179-183.
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