USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

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Threat Characterization and Management Program

Maureen Hyzer, Program Manager
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
1133 N Western Avenue
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Phone: 509-664-1726


Our Mission

Forest fire.The Threat Characterization and Management Program generates knowledge about the nature, causes, and consequences of large, rapid, or significant changes to ecosystems that potentially threaten societal values. We use our knowledge to develop and deliver innovative and effective strategies, methods, and tools so that people can plan, manage, or mitigate changes and their causes and consequences. Program Charter


About Us

Program researchers are based in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and work to understand how disturbance processes are initiated and progress, what thresholds are associated with ecological consequences, and how human perception of disturbance and ecological consequences affects acceptability.


Research Areas

The program’s research is focused on five questions that build on fundamental knowledge of ecology and social science:

  • How do we characterize and measure the cause, occurrence, extent, and consequences of threatening conditions and people’s perceptions of them?
  • How do ecological or social processes interact across multiple temporal and spatial scales to create potential threats?
  • What thresholds exist in ecosystem dynamics; what are the biological, physical, and social consequences of crossing these thresholds; and how do people perceive and respond to disturbances that are approaching or have crossed their biological or physical thresholds?
  • How are ecological patterns and processes managed to reduce the probability, magnitude, and consequences of a threat?
  • What is the range of possible future conditions, and what are the uncertainties and tradeoffs associated with them?

A landscape in the interior Pacific Northwest.   Pulling knapweed.
A landscape in the interior Pacific Northwest.   Pulling knapweed.




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Threat Characterization and Management

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US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
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