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Evaluating Approaches to “Ecosystem Management” Using FVS. Steve McConnell NWIFC August 29, 2002. Ecosystem Management Principles. Multiple scales Ecosystem processes Humans Sustainability Biodiversity Boundaries Adaptive. Challenges Facing EM. Tradeoffs remain unknown. Tradeoffs?.
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Evaluating Approaches to “Ecosystem Management” Using FVS Steve McConnell NWIFC August 29, 2002
Ecosystem Management Principles Multiple scales Ecosystem processes Humans Sustainability Biodiversity Boundaries Adaptive
Challenges Facing EM Tradeoffs remain unknown
Tradeoffs? Timber Removed • volume • species • piece size • variability • predictability
Tradeoffs? Residual Landscape • snags • old-growth • relative density • species composition
Tradeoffs? Ecological Changes • bird habitat • insects • pathogens • crown fire risk
Demonstration Project Citizen partners Landscape planning Long history of management 10 years ago 60 years ago
Landscape Planning for Ecosystem Sustainability • Develop a landscape planning method that: • 1) incorporates social, economic and ecological considerations, and • 2) integrates between stands and landscape
Landscape Planning for Ecosystem Sustainability • Identify landscape management zones • Develop silvicultural Rx’s • Quantify outcomes using the Forest Vegetation Simulation (FVS) model
Site Characteristics Warm moist forest at low elevation Very productive Diverse
Diverse Social Values • Recreation • Roads and fire risk • Visuals • Old-growth • Increase early seral • Biological diversity • Water quality • Change (economic, population, social)
Plan • With Citizen Partners, develop an EM approach • Compare against a commodity and custodial approach
What Really Happened • FACA • All approaches can be part of an EM approach, scale-dependent • Our EM ~ active approach to maintaining ecological integrity • Conservative cutting approaches
Contrasting Management Scenarios Custodial: reserve Commodity: timber production Active: ecological integrity
Custodial Scenario • Objective: Reserve area • Method: Monitor • Practices: hazard tree removal along highway - cut 5% of trees 37m+ tall from stands adjacent to the highway
Commodity Scenario • Objectives: Timber production / Area-regulated forest • Method: Even-aged intensive management • Practices: clearcut, overstory removal, commercial thinning, pre-commercial thinning, prescribed burning, planting
Commodity Scenario:Stand Priority for Clearcuts • Relative density • Basal area • Merchantable bdft volume • Species composition - % of basal area in shade-tolerant species • Mortality/accretion ratio
Commodity Scenario:Stand Priority for Commercial Thinning • Mortality/accretion ratio • Relative density • Species composition: % of basal area in shade-intolerant species • Age (after year 20) - younger stands with higher priority • Minimum 3000 bdft/acre
Active Scenario • Objective: Ecological integrity • Method: Intensive partial cutting to direct structure and species composition • Practices: partial cuts (35% maxim), conversion cuts (70-75%), composition control cuts, prescribed burning, planting
Management Zones for Active Scenario 6 zones Current forest condition Biophysical site Connectivity Disturbance regimes Social values
Active Scenario LMZ Goals • Dry-Ridge: Open stands with WL, PP • Multi-Resource: Structurally diverse, older, mesic site tree species, reestablish western white pine • Ridge: Brushfields, scattered dry-site trees
Active Scenario LMZ Goals • Old-growth: Connected zone of old-growth conditions - structurally diverse, large trees • Riparian: Functional, shade-intolerant trees • Scenic Corridor: Protect visuals, avoid hazards, shade-intolerant trees
Active ScenarioPrescription Generalizations • Target shade-tolerant trees for cut • Retain western larch • Retain relict overstory trees • Decrease relative density • Plant shade-intolerant species • Avoid windthrow • Remove 20, 35, or 70% of basal area