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    Spatial decision support systems for forest management have steadily evolved over the past 20+ years in order to better address the complexities of contemporary forest management issues such as the sustainability and resilience of ecosystems on forested landscapes. In this paper, we describe and illustrate new features of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system that extend the system’s traditional support for landscape analysis and strategic planning to include a simple approach to feature-based tactical planning priorities. The study area for this work was the Chewaucan watershed of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, located in south-central Oregon, USA. The analysis of strategic priorities recommended five subwatersheds as being of high priority for restoration activities, based primarily on decision criteria related to the stream accessibility to headwaters and upland condition. Among high priority subwatersheds, the most common tactical action recommended was the removal of artificial barriers to fish passages. Other high priority tactical actions recommended in high priority subwatersheds to improve fish habitats were reducing the road density and restoring riparian vegetation. In the discussion, we conclude by describing how the simple tactical planning methods illustrated in this paper can be extended in EMDS to provide a more sophisticated hybrid approach to strategic and tactical planning that can evaluate alternative portfolios of designed management actions applied across landscapes. The latter planned improvement to decision support capabilities in EMDS encapsulates Carl Steinitz’s concept of geodesign.

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    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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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.


    Reynolds, Keith; Murphy, Philip; Paplanus, Steven. 2017. Toward geodesign for watershed restoration on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Pacific Northwest, USA. Sustainability. 9(5): 678-.


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    Decision support, landscape analysis, logic modeling, strategic planning, tactical planning, multi-criteria decision analysis, forest management, geodesign

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