An innovative, knowledge-based partnership between research scientists and resource managers in the U.S. Forest Service provided the foundation upon which the Forest Plan was developed that will guide management on the Tongass National Forest for the next 10–15 years. Criteria developed by the scientists to evaluate if management decisions were consistent with the available information base were applied to major components of the emerging final management strategy for the Forest. While the scientists remained value neutral on the contents of the Forest Plan and the management directions provided in it, their evaluation indicated that the decisions it contained for riparian and fish sustainability, wildlife viability, karst and cave protection, slope stability, timber resources, social/economic effects, and monitoring achieved a high degree of consistency with the available scientific information. The Forest Plan, revised to conform with existing scientific knowledge, represents a management strategy designed to sustain the diversity and productivity of the ecosystem while producing goods and services commensurate with the agency’s multiple-use mandate. Execution of this research/management partnership highlighted the role of scientific knowledge in forestry decision-making and provided a new mechanism to input such information into the decision making process. The partnership continues as the scientists are addressing high priority information needs generated by the planning effort in order to have additional information available for plan implementation and revision through adaptive management over the next 3–5 years.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2000
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