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Biodiversity and Intensive Even-Aged Forest Management



A key challenge of achieving sustainability on intensively managed private forests is how to conserve biodiversity while maintaining long-term economic viability. We have developed an approach for creating management templates to help landowners successfully meet both economic and biodiversity goals.

Our approach first identifies a desired stand condition relative to a given biodiversity goal. Then a non-parametric, multivariate, statistical assessment process is used to rigorously evaluate whether management pathways will result in the desired stand conditions. By combining this with a performance threshold for long-term economic sustainability, the result is an integrated assessment that can be used to identify sustainable management strategies that meet both biodiversity and economic goals. These strategies then become the basis of management templates, which are a set of flexible and easy-to-use guidelines for implementation on a variety of ownerships. This project develops two example templates to demonstrate the broad applicability of this approach for improving biodiversity while minimizing negative economic impacts. The first template addresses overstocked riparian areas in Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir plantations. This template will encompass strategies for enhancing older forest function within riparian buffers while maintaining a sustainable economic return.

The second template will address understory conditions in southern loblolly pine plantations. This template will focus on longer rotations that produce higher value products in light of declining pulp markets. These rotations will include thinning strategies that improve game habitat for added hunting lease income while also increasing understory biodiversity. The template approach that we have established represents a holistic methodology for defining sustainable forest management alternatives for intensively managed private forest lands. The end result is a set of flexible, easy-to-use management guidelines to help private landowners meet multiple Montreal Process criteria for sustainability, including conservation of biodiversity, conservation of water resources, increased carbon sequestration, and enhanced, long-term socio-economic benefits.

   Click here to watch the streaming video presentation
Yates Building, 14th & Independence, Washington DC

Developing management templates that increase biodiversity while maintaining economic viability in intensively managed forests

Kevin Zobrist, Forest Management and Economics Analyst

Presented September 13th and 15th, 2005

The University of Washington and RTI reported to the House Committee on Resources and the USDA on the results of a recently completed study involving biodiversity on intensively managed forests.


School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
USDA Forest Service State & Private Forestry
WSU Cooperative Extension
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Last Updated 10/13/2022 12:33:59 PM