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    Author(s): Jonathan Thompson
    Date: 2004
    Source: Science Findings 68. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p
    Publication Series: Science Findings
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (741.0 KB)


    How population growth and development affect forests is a shared concern among forest managers, policymakers, land use planners, and fish and wildlife specialists. Of particular interest is the "wildland-urban interface." It is characterized by expansion of residential and other developed land uses onto forest landscapes in a manner that threatens the ecological and socioeconomic value of forests.

    Oregon has experienced gradual but steady population growth for several years, with most growth occurring in urban areas. However, some development has taken place in more rural, forest settings. Forest land development can bring changes to forestry activities, such as timber harvesting and management, as well as to the ecological characteristics of forests. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the PNW Research Station formed a research partnership to investigate these changes in western Oregon.

    Their findings suggest that despite population growth, rates of development have slowed during the past two decades. However, where low-density development has occurred, new residents do appear less inclined to manage their forest lands for commercial timber production. Although the likelihood of harvesting remained unchanged, increasing building densities were correlated with lower forestry investment. Projections indicate that some forest land development will continue, but most will be focused around existing urban areas and along major transportation routes.

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    Thompson, Jonathan. 2004. Trees, houses, and habitat: private forests at the wildland-urban interface. Science Findings 68. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p

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