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Science synthesis to help guide land management of nation's forests
Date:2/21/2013

ALBANY, Calif.A team of more than a dozen scientists from the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest (PSW) and Pacific Northwest research stations, universities and Region 5 Ecology Program recently released a synthesis of relevant science that will help inform forest managers as they revise plans for the national forests in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades of California. The three most southern national forests in the Sierra NevadaInyo, Sequoia and Sierrawill be among the first of the 155 national forests to update their management plans. The new planning rule requires the forests to consider the best available science and encourages a more active role for research in plan development.

At the request of Region 5 leadership and stakeholders, the team embarked on a year-long effort to summarize and integrate recent scientific advances across key topics including forest and fire ecology; soils; aquatic ecosystems; terrestrial wildlife; air quality; and social, economic and cultural componentsall of which make up socioecological systems.

The synthesis distilled important findings from recent studies about how to make systems more resilient to stressors, such as changes in climate, introduced species, and risk of uncharacteristically large and severe wildfires. The authors considered the connections between the terrestrial forests and the streams, as well as how restoration of ecological processes interfaces with the social and economic concerns of communities. By examining concepts and issues that cut across science disciplines, the authors sought to help managers address relevant challenges more holistically.

Key findings from the synthesis were:

  • Efforts to promote resilience of socioecological systems increasingly consider the interaction of social values and ecological processes in pursuit of long-term mutual benefits and social learning for local communities and larger social networks.
  • Research
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Contact: Sherri Eng
sleng@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

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