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    National forest planning and management traditionally have involved addressing a broad spectrum of natural resource issues and ecological conditions to comply with forest management regulations and policies. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service issued a new forest planning rule requiring that national forests and grasslands identify and evaluate information on the ecosystem services provided by plan areas from which people benefit as part of the plan assessment phase of plan revision. Specifically, planning teams are directed now to identify “key” ecosystem services that are both of importance outside the plan area and likely to be affected by plan alternatives. The agency’s intent is to integrate ecosystem services into the planning and management process to help ensure forest plans produce more beneficial outcomes for the public while meeting the needs of present and future generations. In this report, we develop and demonstrate a conceptual framework and process that forest planning teams can use or draw upon to address ecosystem services during the assessment phase of planning. We provide several examples regarding how planning teams might identify key goods and services, as well as a worksheet teams might use in their analysis.

    Publication Notes

    • 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.


    Jaworski, Delilah; Kline, Jeffrey D.; Miller, Chris; Ng, Kawa; Retzlaff, Mike; Eichman, Henry; Smith, Doug. 2018. Evaluating Ecosystem Services as Management Outcomes in National Forest and Grassland Planning Assessments. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-968. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 38 p.


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    Ecosystem services, public benefits and costs, National Forest System, forest planning, plan revision, assessment process.

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