resource management begins at the forest level. "There
is a need to know whether management actions contribute
to sustainability," affirms John Schuyler, Deputy Forest
Supervisor from the Blue Mountain Province in Oregon.
His colleague, Wayne Chandler, Forest Supervisor from
the Modoc National Forest in California, adds that,
"It is at the forest level that community interaction
and interdependence are most intimate."
and Chandler are two of six forest supervisors who gathered
at the Inventory
and Monitoring Institute (IMI) in Fort Collins,
Colorado, this past spring to discuss the Local Unit
Criteria and Indicators Development (LUCID) project.
In January 1999, six national forests were selected
as LUCID pilot forests to identify the conditions that
are necessary for sustainable management of ecological,
economic, and social systems and to field test the criteria
and indicators necessary to assess how forest management
is influencing sustainability. The LUCID project, administered
by Thomas Hoekstra and his staff at the IMI, involves
six national forests: Allegheny, Modoc, Mt. Hood, Ottawa,
Tongass, and the Blue Mountain Province (comprised of
the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman, and Malheur National
was conceived in response to the 1998 North American
test of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest
management in Boise, Idaho. The Center
for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) conducted
a series of forest level tests in Indonesia, Canada,
Ivory Coast, Brazil, Germany, Australia, and the United
States. The Boise test examined the suitability of applying
a number of field management unit criteria and indicators
developed in other parts of the world to North American
socioeconomic and ecological conditions. Forest scientists
and managers from the United States, Mexico, and Canada
participated in the test.
Says Alex Moad of the Forest Service Office of International
Programs, "The Boise test was an excellent example of
how the product of an international initiative can serve
as a tool for field managers in the United States."
The USDA Forest Service Office of International Programs,
Forest Service Research and Development, and the U.S.
Agency for International Development Global Bureau Environment
Center jointly sponsored the Boise test.As
a result of the Boise test a number of relevant criteria
and indicators were identified as applicable to U.S.
conditions. The next step was to initiate the LUCID
main objective of IMI's LUCID project is to further
refine the field management unit criteria and indicators
selected during the Boise test and to determine the
steps involved in implementing local unit measures of
sustainability nationwide. LUCID is important because
it links national (i.e., Montreal Process Criteria and
Indicators) with field level criteria and indicators.
the value of LUCID will be to provide forest managers
and partners with a framework that can be used to coordinate
monitoring and encourage collaboration between forests,
stakeholders, and government agencies. The LUCID project
is facing a number of challenges, some of which are
human resource constraints, adequate stakeholder participation,
finding data to assess the economic and sociological
indicators, and uneven financial resources among the
pilot forests to implement LUCID.
John Palmer, Forest Supervisor on the Allegheny National
Forest in Pennsylvania, has extensive experience working
with criteria and indicators. As Palmer considers LUCID
and its application in the United States and in forests
around the world, he predicts that, "The criteria and
indicators framework will continually evolve. It takes
energy. It takes time. It takes effort. We're just scraping
agrees, "LUCID shows a lot of promise and will provide
a common framework for forest inventory assessment and
forest plan work."
maintain that successful implementation will create
better collaboration, a common language, and clear communication
lines. In order for criteria and indicators to become
useful tools for assessing sustainability, the LUCID
participants agree that what is learned on the forests
must be applied nationally, and even globally.
Gary Larsen, Forest Supervisor of the Mt. Hood National
Forest, points out, "Americans remake new ideas as we
try them on--only after thoroughly hammering and shaping
them to be useful in our own personal world do we acknowledge
their merit and adopt them."
Paqueo is part of the communications team at the Office
of International Programs.
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