Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Thomas A. SpiesEric WhiteAlan AgerJeffrey D. Kline; John P. Bolte; Emily K. Platt; Keith A. Olsen; Robert J. Pabst; Ana M. G. Barros; John D. Bailey; Susan Charnley; Anita T. Morzillo; Jennifer Koch; Michelle M. Steen-Adams; Peter H. Singleton; James Sulzman; Cynthia Schwartz; Blair Csuti
    Date: 2017
    Source: Ecology and Society. 22(1): 25.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (6.0 MB)


    Fire-prone landscapes present many challenges for both managers and policy makers in developing adaptive behaviors and institutions. We used a coupled human and natural systems framework and an agent-based landscape model to examine how alternative management scenarios affect fire and ecosystem services metrics in a fire-prone multiownership landscape in the eastern Cascades of Oregon. Our model incorporated existing models of vegetation succession and fire spread and information from original empirical studies of landowner decision making. Our findings indicate that alternative management strategies can have variable effects on landscape outcomes over 50 years for fire, socioeconomic, and ecosystem services metrics. For example, scenarios with federal restoration treatments had slightly less high-severity fire than a scenario without treatment; exposure of homes in the wildland-urban interface to fire was also slightly less with restoration treatments compared to no management. Treatments appeared to be more effective at reducing high-severity fire in years with more fire than in years with less fire. Under the current management scenario, timber production could be maintained for at least 50 years on federal lands. Under an accelerated restoration scenario, timber production fell because of a shortage of areas meeting current stand structure treatment targets. Trade-offs between restoration outcomes (e.g., open forests with large fire-resistant trees) and habitat for species that require dense older forests were evident. For example, the proportional area of nesting habitat for northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) was somewhat less after 50 years under the restoration scenarios than under no management. However, the amount of resilient older forest structure and habitat for white-headed woodpecker (Leuconotopicus albolarvatus) was higher after 50 years under active management. More carbon was stored on this landscape without management than with management, despite the occurrence of high-severity wildfire. Our results and further applications of the model could be used in collaborative settings to facilitate discussion and development of policies and practices for fire-prone landscapes.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Spies, Thomas A.; White, Eric; Ager, Alan; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Bolte, John P.; Platt, Emily K.; Olsen, Keith A.; Pabst, Robert J.; Barros, Ana M. G.; Bailey, John D.; Charnley, Susan; Morzillo, Anita T.; Koch, Jennifer; Steen-Adams, Michelle M.; Singleton, Peter H.; Sulzman, James; Schwartz, Cynthia; Csuti, Blair. 2017. Using an agent-based model to examine forest management outcomes in a fire-prone landscape in Oregon, USA. Ecology and Society. 22(1): 25.


    Google Scholar


    adaptation, ecosystem services, landscape, management, wildfire

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page