USDA Forest Service
Compatibility of management activities with local landscape values and forest use preferences using geospatial methods: A case study of the Tongass National Forest
In recent decades, actions by the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government have altered the management directives of the Tongass National Forest. These actions have lead to changes in the economic foundations of communities residing within the forest. In order to address the economic needs of these communities while balancing forest management objectives, the U.S. Forest Service has begun implementing a transition plan that promotes ecosystem health and bolsters local employment opportunities. Working with the community of Wrangell and the Forest Service to conduct an integrated assessment, I seek to answer these questions: Do management activities on Wrangell Island align with the preferences of the community? And how do community values align with ecosystem services? This study uses geospatial methods to identify areas valued by the community which will then be compared with areas designated by land managers as available for timber harvest. As well, community members will identify their preferences for forest uses both spatially and non-spatially and these uses will be compared to the current underlying ecosystem services. Through this participatory process, communities can provide spatially explicit input during the planning process, which creates opportunities for managers to incorporate community needs and better prioritize management objectives. This study demonstrates the utility of using geospatial methods to assist communities in adapting to shifts in natural resources management.
Data and Resources
Start Date: 2013/01/01
End Date: 2013/12/31