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Pacific Northwest Research Station
Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team


USDA Forest Service International Programs
U.S. Agency for International Development
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USDA Forest Service
December 1997

Fire and Environmental Change in Tropical Ecosystems


Conducted an aircraft remote sensing mission during July to map recent selective harvesting and deforestation in portions of the states of Mato Grosso, Rondônia, Pará, and Amazonas to evaluate performance of logging concessions authorized by IBAMA and to monitor the properties of fires in and near recent clearcutting in eastern Pará.

Began air quality monitoring at the Estação Ecológica das Aguas Emendadas in the Federal District with establishment of continuous measurements of ozone.

Completed fuels inventory and photography of 11 photo series sites in Emas National Park for new cerrado-region vegetation types and began planning for the 1998 field season to finalize the remaining photo series plots in Chapada da Diamantina National Park.

Trained two University of Brasilia graduate students in the techniques of photography and fuels inventory and one student will travel to the U.S. work with U.S. fuels inventory crews in the Spring of 1998.

Initiated a new research partnership with a Brazilian team of scientists lead by Dr. Joao Andrade de Carvalho from the Combustion and Propulsion Laboratory of the Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espacciais (INPE), Cachoieria Paulista, Sao Paulo. Three experimental slash burns were conducted in August at their experimental farm outside of Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso. The burns were used to study biomass combustion, fire physics and flammability on the interface of the primary forest and deforested areas. Plans were initiated to implement a complete experiment 1998 and 1999.

Completed manuscripts on rural community smoke exposure and evergreen tropical forest flammability with Brazilian co-authors that will be published in the proceedings of the 13th Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology held in Australia in November of 1996. Brazilian counterparts also attended the conference.

Continued the support of a Brazilian doctoral student at the University of Washington and their dissertation research on the development of a fire risk model for Amazon forest landscapes considering forest physiology, fire meteorology, land use, and climate change.

Presented a poster “Wildfires and Global Climate Change Along Ecosystems on a Transect of the Americas” at the 2nd International Wildland Fire Conference ‘97: Wildland Fire Management and Sustainable Development in Vancouver, B. C. Canada. The poster presented the research progress on Brazil’s cerrado and Amazon ecosystems.

Presented a seminar on forest biomass combustion at INPEs Cachoeira Paulista campus. The seminar was delivered before an audience from the Laboratorio de Combustão e Propulsão and the Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudios Climáticos.

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Sustainable Forest Management Technologies and Practices


Made significant progress on the TFF low impact logging demonstration and training component on the Tapajos National Forest including harvest inventory, annual operating plan approval, pre-harvest treatments and training. Transportation infrastructure for harvesting was planned and constructed in October and November and harvest completed by the end of December.

Trained thirty people in reduced-impact harvesting techniques and practices in 4 different field courses conducted by TFF in July, October and November. On the Tapajos National Forest the training courses were designed to be overlapping to meet the varying needs of forest policy makers (participated for 3 days), senior forest supervisors (participated for seven days) and forestry technicians (entire 12-day course).

Significant leveraging occurred in the evaluation of harvesting effects on the Tapajos National Forest because of its relationship to the Brazilian-led Large-Scale Biosphere Atmosphere (LBA) project which includes the Brazilian Space Agency, INPE, several Brazilian universities, NASA and other scientific organizations in Brazil, the U.S., and Europe. IBAMA is a cooperator. Several new investigators with their own funding were attracted to the program and began additional studies.

The planned ITTO harvest on the Tapajos National Forest was delayed due to an apparent conflict with the rights of the local communities. Several Brazilian organizations protested the "edital" as not meeting legal requirements. It is unlikely that these issues will be resolved in time for harvesting to occur this dry season.

Efforts to identify additional elements of technical cooperation in forest management with the new IBAMA leadership were largely unproductive. This was due to the difficulty in developing a working relationship with the National level office in Brasilia. We believe this issue has finally been resolved with the identification of Paulo Fontes as the principal contact for program matters.

Completed 318 intercept interviews with nature tourists in the Manaus region in order to assess the ecotourism potential of the Tapajós National Forest. A marketing analysis tool, Conjoint Analysis, was used to develop insight into the relative importance of nature trip characteristics (such as environmental education, wildlife viewing and lodging) and to predict the proportion of tourists who would select a tour based on a set of trip characteristics.

Completed interviews with 323 households in seventeen communities in and near the Tapajós National Forest to describe current economic activity and evaluate potential economic opportunities including ecotourism and non-timber forest products. Preliminary analysis of the data has been completed.

Presented research finding to Selma Bara Melgaço, Superintendent of the Tapajós National Forest, and provided her with copies of preliminary reports. An invitation was extended to return to Santarém to assist IBAMA in ecotourism planning in concert with the G-7 Rainforest Pilot Program.

Published a Conjoint Analysis model applied to ecotourism assessment in the Atlantic Coastal Forest in Bahia (Holmes, Alger, Zinkhan and Mercer). Published Working Papers on the potential demand for ecotourism in the Tapajós National Forest (Tanner, Holmes, Sills and Santos da Silva) and in the northern littoral of Paraná (Sills et al.).
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Fire and Environmental Change in Tropical Ecosystems

Activities and Progress

Activities and Progress

The governments of Brazil and the United States have cooperated since 1990 in a program to address impacts of global environmental change in tropical ecosystems with an emphasis on widespread burning in central Brazil. The program working group on Fire and Environmental Change in Tropical Ecosystems is led by the Brazilian Federal Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) of the Ministry of the Environment, Legal Amazon, and Water Resources and by the USDA Forest Service.


Integrated Fire Assessment

Fire Impacts on the Atmosphere

We completed new regression analyses of the combined data of trace-gas concentration in active fire plumes as measured from aircraft campaigns during 1992, 1994, and 1995 and have begun preparation of a manuscript describing the results. This data set is the largest yet compiled for tropical fires.

We continued analysis of rates of fire occurrence by a change detection of ash-covered ground as observed from 76 pairs of Landsat Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) scenes from 1986, the last year for which extensive MSS coverage is readily available. The IBGE vegetation map of Brazil has been obtained in digital form and our analysis is linking this with the MSS data in GIS format to estimate the rates of burning by major vegetation class.

High-rate (10-Hz) data from plume measurements during 1992 were incorporated in our analysis of carbon flux from active fires. These are being extrapolated from sampling transects to entire plumes to provide estimates of total carbon and energy fluxes from a sample of fires. We expect this to produce both model validation data and direct estimates of the relation of radiant-energy flux to total energy yield of fires, allowing extrapolation of our extensive radiant-energy measurements to give estimates of regional biomass consumption rates.

Remote-sensing measurements of fire radiance have been analyzed for the intensively measured 1992 Tapera prescribed fire in campo limpo vegetation at the Reserva Ecológica do IBGE, thereby providing a unique data set for the testing of fire behavior models. We have established a partnership with the T3 Fluid Dynamics Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory to evaluate their interactive fire and atmospheric dynamics models using these data.

Ecosystem Productivity

Measurements of carbon, water, and energy flux from a Cerrado ecosystem were continued in recently burned vegetation at the Estação Ecológica das Aguas Emendadas. Previous results were reported in a publication by Miranda et al. (1997). Analysis was also begun on the first measurements of ecosystem carbon, water, and energy exchange yet made in the Pantanal wetlands of southwest Brazil.

Air Quality Monitoring

Ozone analyzers were calibrated and installed during July at the headquarters of IBAMA in the Federal District and at the Estação Ecológica das Aguas Emendadas. The stations are being monitored by personnel from the Universidade de Brasília and IBAMA, who were trained during the July field campaign.

Photo Series

The development of a biomass estimation photo series for a range of fuel types is continuing in cooperation with Dr. Heloisa Miranda and the University of Brasilia. An additional 11 sites were located and inventoried in the Emas National Park region to represent cerrado fuel types previously not represented. Logistical support and planning began for the 1998 field campaign. The final set of 11 photo series sites will be inventoried and photographed in Chapada da Diamantina National Park in the State of Bahia. This will complete the field phase of the photo series with over 50 sites inventoried. Publication of the photo series in both English and Portuguese will be completed in 1999.

Two graduate students from the University of Brasilia have been trained in the techniques of photography and fuels inventory. We have recommended, and are planning for, one graduate student to be brought to the United States to continue training with our fuels inventory crew during the summer of 1998.

Human Health Risk

The analysis and assessment of the exposure of rural residents to smoke at a site in Rondonia has been presented at the Pacific Northwest Air Pollution Control Association, Forest Fire and Meteorology Conference, and at several training sessions in the United States. A proceedings paper is in press and a final report has been translated into Portuguese and distributed in Brazil. Continued interest by the Brazilian government may lead to large support and a continuation of the original effort. The large fires of 1997 renewed interest and concern over the smoke and its effect on public health and welfare, and IBAMA may request a presentation at a major conference to be held in Maraba sometime in 1998.

Fire Risk Assessment

We began a research partnership with the scientific team lead by Dr. Joao Andrade de Carvalho from the Combustion and Propulsion Laboratory of the Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) at Cachoeira Paulista, Sao Paulo. This partnership with Dr. Carvalho allowed us to initiate studies on combustion efficiency and fire physics of biomass originated from primary forest clearing and its effects on smoke emissions. On the same site, we continued to conduct experiments to monitor changes in flammability condition of the disturbed primary forest adjacent to land clearings and pastures and undisturbed primary forest as well.

We completed 3 experimental slash burns to study biomass combustion and fire physics at the Fazenda Caiabi, Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso. Fire was allowed to escape from the experimental slash burns into the primary forest to measure how far fire self-sustains under a closed canopy of primary forest. Fire burned under the canopy for approximately 100 meters inside the forest. A flammability test was completed in undisturbed primary forest in the same farm. Six plots were set up to monitor litter and small woody fuel moisture, temperature, relative humidity, leaf area index, and soil moisture. At the end of the monitoring period, the plots were ignited. Fires on these plots were sustained for only a few centimeters as fine fuel moisture was higher than the edges of the clearcuts. Next year we will conduct an extended experiment to test flammability thresholds during the entire dry season in Alta Floresta. The analysis of the flammability and fire risk study will published in the proceedings of the 13th Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology.

Protocols to measure biomass consumption by the USDA PNW Fire and Enviromental Research Applications team have been adopted by INPE’s Combustion and Propulsion Laboratory. INPE’s Amazonia biomass combustion project has been conducted in the past in Manaus, Maraba, and Pará. A graduate student in combustion at INPE, and one technician, were trained on FERA’s fuel consumption protocols. Results from the 1997 field season will be part of a master’s dissertation.

Dr. Sandberg was invited to present a seminar on forest biomass combustion at INPE’s Cachoeira Paulista campus. The seminar was delivered before an audience from the Laboratorio de Combustão e Propulsão and the Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudios Climáticos. During this visit to Cachoeira Paulista, a plan was prepared to implement a complete experiment for 1998 and 1999 to study combustion efficiency, and flaming and smoldering phases in slash burns and its effects on smoke emissions from biomass burning in the Amazon. The study site will also be used to conduct experiments to test the change in flammability condition of the adjacent standing primary forest resulted from land clearing for the combustion experiment. On the same farm, we will continue conducting an extended experiment on flammability thresholds in the undisturbed primary forest.

For the 1998/99 experiments, a new INPE graduate student in combustion will be trained in fuel consumption protocols. This graduate student will carry on the flaming and smoldering combustion study in the LCP’s wind tunnel.

We continued the support of a Brazilian doctoral student at the University of Washington. His dissertation topic focuses on the development of a fire risk model for the Amazon Forest landscapes considering forest physiology, fire meteorology, land use, and climate change.

New opportunities for extending the fire program in the Caatinga forest on the Atlantic Coast were explored in October by Drs. Sandberg and Alvarado.

Monitoring Forest Cutting

1997 Aircraft Campaign

In an extension of work begun in 1996, remote sensing data were collected across an extended region of the Amazon rain forest to map current rates of deforestation and selective harvesting. Remote sensing was done by our Extended-Dynamic-Range Imaging Spectrometer (EDRIS) flown aboard a commercial Lear 35 aircraft. A total of approximately 32,000 km were flown covering areas of active harvesting in the states of Pará, Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia, and Mato Grosso. Large blocks of land that were previously imaged during 1996 were again mapped to sample current rates of forest cutting. IBAMA is also comparing the forest cutting with its authorized forest harvesting permits to provide a basis for effective forest management. Technical assistance and training by U.S. personnel were sponsored by USAID and USDA/FAS/ICD/RSED; operations costs were financed by IBAMA. Flight planning was done by IBAMA and the aircraft campaign provided extensive experience to IBAMA personnel in the development and conduct of remote sensing missions.

Remote sensing data from our 1996 aircraft campaign has been processed by IBAMA/DIRCOF which has completed an initial selection of clear scenes in regions of active harvesting and comparison of these with the last completed survey of deforestation conducted by INPE, the Brazilian space research agency.

A visit to the United States by personnel from IBAMA, INPE, and the Brazilian Air Force was hosted by PSW in May 1997 to coordinate program activities and investigate opportunities for transfer of aircraft and remote sensing technology to IBAMA. Visitors included: João Antônio Raposo Pereira, Coordenador de Monitoramento Atmosférico, IBAMA/DIRCOF/DEAMB; Rodolfo Lobo da Costa, Chefe, Departamento de Fiscalização, IBAMA/DIRCOF; Paulo Roberto Martins Serra, Chefe do Centro Espacial de Cachoeira Paulista, INPE; and Major Darcton Policarpo Damião, Divisão de Sensoriamento Remoto, Centro Técnico Aeroespacial, Força Aérea Brasileira. The group visited NASA Ames Research Center and the NASA Wallops Island facility to view medium-altitude aircraft facilities including C130B and C130Q aircraft. The working group provided advice on the possible operation of a C130 aircraft by IBAMA for resource monitoring and mapping. The group also visited Space Instruments, Inc., with which PSW has a research joint venture agreement for the development of a low-cost, uncooled, multi-channel thermal imager, and the Aeronautical Systems Division of General Atomics Corporation, which is a consortium partner of NASA Ames Research Center in the development and application of remotely piloted aircraft. The Brazilian team expressed strong interest in developing demonstrations of both systems in Brazil as a means towards enhancing IBAMA’s capability for monitoring natural resources, especially in conjunction with its Amazon Environmental Macro-monitoring Project. We also discussed progress in our work group task to increase Brazilian capability for aircraft-based measurements of carbon, water, and energy flux from natural ecosystems.
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Success Stories

IBAMA has reorganized its cooperative program with the United Nations Development Program to expand the program’s range of activities from fire management to environmental monitoring and management. The new program follows along the lines of the IBAMA/Forest Service cooperation. It has been approved by UNDP.

IBAMA is sponsoring a working group to provide official country estimates of the emissions of greenhouse gases from wildland and agricultural burning. Estimates for cerrado and Amazônia will incorporate many of the measurements made under the cooperative IBAMA/Forest Service program.

Training provided under the cooperation has been applied in the campaign for deforestation monitoring. Law enforcement activities have begun for identified areas of illegal deforestation. Expanded press contacts and public relations associated with the aircraft campaign have been used to apprise landowners of the Government’s expanded enforcement efforts and reduce future losses of tropical forest to illegal cutting by large landowners.

Cooperation and training have influenced IBAMA’s development of resources for geographic and remote sensing data analysis and provided data that has directly affected Government policy on burning and deforestation.

IBAMA/Prefogo successfully submitted a broad program on environmental monitoring and management to the Rainforest Pilot Program. It has been approved by the donors.
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USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
David V. Sandberg, Research Forester/Project Leader
Roger D. Ottmar, Research Forester
Robert E. Vihnanek, Forester
Sue A. Ferguson, Meteorologist

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Dr. Philip J. Riggan, Ecologist/Project Leader
Robert N. Lockwood, Ecologist
Robert Tissell, Computer Analyst
Jennifer Rechel, Geographer

NASA Ames Research Center
James A. Brass, Ecosystem Scientist
Bob Higgins, Electronics Engineer
Dr. Edward Hildum, Electronics Engineer

University of Brasília
Dra. Heloisa Miranda, Chair -- Department of Ecology
Dr. Antonio Miranda, Micrometerologist

João Antonio Raposo Pereira, Program Coordinator
Helvecio Mafra Filho, Computer Analyst

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Dr. Teresa Campos, Atmospheric Chemist

Joao A. De Carvalho, Cachoeira Paulista

Museo Paraense "Emilio Goeldi"
Rafael de Paiva Salomao

Universidade do Tocantins
Guido Ranzani

ECOATIVA -- Cooperativa Multiprofissional de Consultoria Socio Ambiental
Moira Adams Katia Carvalheiro

University of Washington
Ernesto Alvarado
Gustavo Negrieros

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Sustainable Forest Management Technologies and Practicies

Activities and Progress

Activities and Progress

Demonstration and Training

A major accomplishment was the completion of agreements with the Tropical Forest Foundation including their partnership with CIFOR to provide training to industry and IBAMA foresters in low impact logging techniques on the Tapajos National Forest near Santarem in the State of Para. Training for 20 to 30 forest technicians, managers and supervisors was under way at the end of the reporting to coincide with the harvest of the two 96 ha. low impact logging demonstration sites. The results of the investment in this activity were combined with resources from the World Bank and other USAID projects to multiply the effectiveness of these resources. Overall 40 person months of training was offered with 9.5 person months occurring at the Tapajos site. The combined efforts produced educational materials, television and print media information.

The Tropical Forest Foundation (FFT) made a great deal of progress in the demonstration and training components of low impact logging on the Tapajos National Forest.

Harvest Inventory: The FFT crews (2) worked on the block layout, inventory line cutting, location of permanent plots, and a 100% inventory on 4 X 100 hectare blocks from December 1996 until April 1997. All the above was completed by April 2nd 1997. The inventory data was processed during the months of April - July - September. The number of trees per block ranged from 5,000 to 6,000 with 8 entries for each. The 100% inventory maps were completed by August 1997 and the harvest tree maps prepared by 20 September 1997.

Annual Operating Plan Approval: FFT prepared an annual operating plan for IBAMA, which was presented in April 1997. In addition they prepared a detailed harvest plan for IBAMA which was approved both by IBAMA Belem and IBAMA Brasilia by 2 October 1997.

Pre-harvest Treatments Applied: During the 100% inventory FFT did a harvest tree vine cut on the 2 X 100 hectare blocks which were to be harvested using low impact harvesting methods. The vines were cut only within the crown radius of the harvest trees and those connecting to future harvest trees. This work was completed also by April 2, 1997.

Training: Planning was completed for harvesting crew training during the month of October for workers from local communities living in or near the FLONA (National Forest). They will be trained in all the activities relating to the program. In addition two practical training courses will be held, covering all the related activities of inventory, data processing, map making, planning, and low impact harvesting activities. Safety courses will be given to crew, helpers and all course participants, relating to all phases of the Tapajos activities during this period.

Infrastructure: Layout and construction of forest infrastructure, including, primary roads, secondary roads, log decks and primary skid trails are planned for marking, and construction during the months of October and November according to the IBAMA approved harvest plan.

Safety: Low impact harvesting with the emphases of safety will be initiated on the 12th of October and is expected to be completed by the 9th of December. So far with nearly 2,000 person days of work on the low impact harvest, FFT has suffered no major or minor accidents except snakebite of a helper of an associated researcher.

An additional training session will take place in the second week of December.

Field Research

Progress continues related to the evaluation of harvesting in the Tapajos National Forest. Dr. Michael Keller is the lead person for this project component. Because of the excellent location of Tapajos and the interest in our activities as well as the cooperation of IBAMA, we have been able to create new partnerships in evaluation at little or no expense to USAID or the Forest Service. These partnerships will greatly augment the depth of the final evaluation.

Jason Neff (Stanford University) assisted by a student volunteer (Erika Marin- Spiotta) installed lysimeters for an upcoming comparison of nutrient leaching in undisturbed forest and logging gaps. Neff has USDA FS and NSF support. (September 1997)

Dr. Alan Townsend and Dr. Greg Asner (University of Colorado) conducted a preliminary visit to the FLONA Tapajos to acquire reflectance spectra from old growth and secondary forest species that may be used eventually to distinguish logged and un-logged forest in hyper-spectral remote sensing imagery. Townsend has an early career award from NASA. (September 1997)

Dr. Tom Holmes (USDA FS) and Fred Boltz (U. of Florida) conducted a reconnaissance trip in November to the Tapajos and other Forest Sites and the TFF office in Belem to begin their US AID funded assessment of the economics of LIL vs. conventional logging. ¨ Dr. Michael Keller (IITF) accompanied Neff, Townsend/Asner, and Holmes/Boltz during part of each trip in order to consult on the direction and focus of the studies as well as to assist with field methods and logistics.

Dissemination Materials

One scientific paper was published in Forest Ecology and Management by McNabb et al from Auburn University during the period.

Training packet including the LIL training manual produced for students.

Briefing Packet produced for Field Day sessions.

Television production produced and aired by Brazilian TV crews.

A seven-page article was published in "Ecologia e Desenvolvimento".

Article published in ITTO magazine on TFF projects.

Difficulties Encountered and Solutions Reached

During this reporting period, we visited with IBAMA officials in Brasilia regarding regulations put forth in the Brazilian laws regarding scientific expedition. All foreign research groups must present a proposal in certain forms to CNPq and have a Brazilian research collaborator. Certain groups may already have permission through CNPq for research and others may expect such permission under the umbrella of other projects (e.g. LBA). Any group that wishes to export biological materials must comply with the new Genetic Code. IBAMA officials promise to facilitate interactions with other government agencies. We are grateful for the assistance of Magaly Pagotto with high level contacts with IBAMA in Brasilia to provide assistance to secure invitations for the visit planned in late August.

IBAMA appeared to be making good progress on the process of soliciting a contractor to harvest timber in the FLONA Tapajos. However, there was a potential conflict with the rights of local communities. IBAMA voluntarily withdrew their solicitation from the public process. IBAMA officials are now working with the pertinent legal authorities as well as the representatives from the communities. IBAMA is re-surveying the potential harvest area to determine what overlap, if any exists in the area intended for harvest and the areas claimed by local communities. IBAMA officials are confident that they can negotiate a compromise. When such an agreement is reached, they intend to re-open the formal bidding process.

At the same time, certain NGO groups including Amigos da Terra, World Wildlife Fund-Brazil, and IMAFLORA, oppose the logging project on "technical" grounds related to the forest management plan. Talks have been held among IBAMA and NGO groups. However according to Natalino Silva, an EMBRAPA forester who negotiated as part of the IBAMA team, the NGO's remain opposed to the project at this time. Recent statements by Jose de Arimatea of IBAMA indicate that a new version of the 'Edital' will be published next year. The new "Edital" should repair the problems that led to the challenge of the old one. As far as we have been able to determine there is no date set for the new "edital" to be issued. It is possible that the NGO's will challenge this new version. At this time, it is unlikely that there will be much, if any logging in the ITTO area by commercial operators this year. Re-opening the bidding process will take time and most operators have committed their personnel and equipment for operations for the remainder of this year. However, the Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) group plans to proceed with their Low- Impact Logging (LIL) operations in two 96 ha blocks of Quadra 4. These operations have commenced. The legal action related to the commercial operations on the ITTO area has no bearing on the TFF plans.

In discussions with IBAMA, they are sympathetic to deleting the sociological component of the Forest Service-prepared “Tapajos Preliminary Plan” dated May 1996. The rationale for this decision is that it will be difficult for the Forest Service to be involved in community related social research without being drawn into the political maelstrom. Even by supporting USDA Forest Service researchers, the Forest Service could easily be identified with political causes. This "politicization" of the research could endanger the whole project.

IBAMA has requested that the USDA FS consider participation in the area of wood technology and utilization. There is some level of contact with the USDA Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory. Based on discussions with IBAMA, there may be a role for in the woods kinds of activities to improve utilization and processing techniques. We do not plan to broaden our scope of evaluation to include products and utilization. A more precise definition from IBAMA regarding the type of technical assistance they have in mind is needed.

Training opportunities were identified for IBAMA personnel in the US and Brazil. Sponsorship was offered for the Colorado State University short course in protected area management. IBAMA was also notified of the same course to be offered in Brazil. Colorado State was unable to accommodate the IBAMA nominee because the application was late. The person was encouraged to apply again next year. No action was taken by IBAMA to nominate participants for the session in Brazil. This continues to be an area of concern. There is a limited ability of IBAMA to participate in training that is offered in English due to lack of language skills.

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Success Stories

The TFF low impact logging demonstration area on the Tapajos National Forest was installed. Harvesting and training for forest technicians, managers and supervisors was initiated on the two 96 ha. blocks.

Project activities have been expanded as a result of additional funding attracted from other organizations such as the World Bank, the National Science Foundation and NASA.

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William G. Edwards, Assistant Director International Institute of Tropical Forestry. Mr. Edwards provides overall leadership to the forest management component of the project particularly institutional strengthening with IBAMA.
Johan Zweede - Low Impact Logging Demonstration Project Manager for the Tropical Forest Foundation. Mr. Zweede provides overall leadership for project design and implementation.
Dr. Tom Holmes (USDA FS) and Fred Boltz (U. of Florida) Assessment of the economics of LIL.
Dr. Michael Keller, Research Scientist. Dr. Keller provides leadership and coordination for the involvement of numerous institutions in the Tapajos Project. He is instrumental in establishing linkages between the Tapajos Project and the LBA project involving numerous other collaborators
Jason Neff (Stanford University) comparison of nutrient leaching in undisturbed forest and logging gaps
Dr. Alan Townsend and Dr. Greg Asner (University of Colorado) reflectance spectra from old growth and secondary forest species to distinguish logged and un-logged forest in hyper-spectral remote sensing imagery.

Jan Engert, Brazil Program Coordinator. Ms. Engert provides overall leadership and coordination for Brazil activities for the agency.
Joy Berg, Ecosystems Management Staff. Ms. Berg provided insights based on over twenty years experience in public land management under the multiple use philosophy including current experience in strategic and operational planning as a Forest Supervisor at the national forest level in a variety of ecological and cultural settings.
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Sustainable Forest Management
Ecotourism Assessment and Economic Opportunities for Riverine Communities

Activities and Progress

Activities and Progress

Field Research and Demonstration

In 1997, an intercept survey was designed in collaboration with personnel from IBAMA, the Prefeitura Municipal of Santarém and the USDA Forest Service to evaluate ecotourists’ lodging, recreation and environmental education preferences for potential visits to the Tapajós National Forest. During January and February, intercept interviews were conducted in the Manaus region by four interviewers from Santarém. A total of 318 intercept interviews were conducted, the majority of which were in English although interviews were also conducted in Portuguese, German and French. The population of interest was visitors to the Brazilian Amazon who had taken or planned to take a trip to the jungle. An effort was made to interview tourists at a variety of locations representing the range from “low cost” to “high cost” tourists. A comparison of profiles obtained from our sample with tourism studies reported by the OAS and EMAMTUR indicated the representativeness of our sample.

Conjoint Analysis is a marketing research technique that forces people to make trade-offs between attributes of the products in the survey. Statistical analysis of the conjoint observations indicated that: (1) environmental education is a very important characteristic, and some low-cost means for providing environmental education (eg., interpretive signs along trails) are just as favorable as high-cost means (eg., environmental education center), (2) staying in a cabin along the Tapajós River was the lodging characteristic most favored by respondents and respondents were relatively neutral to staying in a river community, (3) wildlife viewing opportunities are moderately important to respondents and the most favorable way to view wildlife is from a tower, (4) hiking and canoeing opportunities are not very important to respondents, (5) cost is an important factor in determining the desirability of trips. More than one-half of the respondents (55%) stated that they would, given the opportunity, redesign their current jungle trip and take a trip the Tapajós National Forest instead.

During three weeks in March of 1997, 323 households in 15 communities within the Tapajós National Forest and 2 neighboring communities were interviewed. The survey was reviewed by personnel at IBAMA, the World Bank, USDA Forest Service, Duke University, University of North Carolina, Divisão de Turismo - Prefeitura Municipal de Santarém , and Projeto Várzea. The survey was implemented by six interviewers from Santarém. In each community, the survey began with meetings with local leaders, followed by interviews with households (approximately an hour each), and finally by a community meeting to explain the purpose of the survey and present results from earlier surveys of tourists. Data were collected regarding current economic activity (primarily agriculture and fishing) and potential economic opportunities including ecotourism and sale of non-timber forest products.

Only a preliminary analysis of the household data has been completed. However, it is clear that there exist different opinions and mixed feelings about receiving tourists in the communities. The current importance and potential role of non-timber forest products as an economic activity are currently being evaluated.

Dissemination and Training

A total of 10 people were trained in social science research and interview techniques to implement the surveys described above. This included personnel from IBAMA and the Prefeitura Municipal de Santarém .


Tanner, J. B. 1997. A Study of the Potential for Ecotourism in the Tapajós National Forest, Pará, Brazil - Preferences for Lodging, Learning and Recreation. Contract Number 43-4568-6-9232 (on file with the Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC) .

Sills, E. O. 1997. Report on Collection and Analysis of Information Regarding Potential Economic Opportunities for Riverine Communities in the Tapajós National Forest, Pará, Brazil. Contract Number 43-4568-6-9233 (on file with the Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC).

Holmes, T. P. & J. B. Tanner. 1997. Conjoint Analysis of Tourist Preferences for Ecotourism Characteristics on the Tapajós National Forest, Pará, Brazil. (English and Portuguese). FPEI Working Paper 63. Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Sills, E. O. 1997. Report on Tourism in the FLONA Tapajós. (English and Portuguese). FPEI Working Paper 64. Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Tanner, J. B., T. P. Holmes, E. O. Sills & S. Santos da Silva. 1997. The Potential Demand for Ecotourism in the Tapajós National Forest, Pará, Brazil. (English and Portuguese). FPEI Working Paper No. 62. Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Sills, E. O., V. Y. Müller, F. W. Cubbage, T. P. Holmes, J. M. Pye, J. E. Wagner, L. M. Marques, J. L. Binns, & D. C. Riggsbee. Analysis of the Potential for Ecotourism in the Northern Littoral of Paraná, Brazil: Project Summary. (English and Portuguese). FPEI Working Paper No. 61. Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Holmes, T., K. Alger, C. Zinkhan, & E. Mercer. 1998. The Effect of Response Time on Conjoint Analysis Estimates of Rainforest Protection Values. Journal of Forest Economics (forthcoming).
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Success Stories

A successful partnership continues with IBAMA, in particular with partners on the Tapajós National Forest. Field research results will be used to help guide the evaluation of tourism opportunities and developments.
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Thomas P. Holmes, Research Forester. Dr. Holmes is the leader of the ecotourism assessment and the evaluation of economic opportunities for local communities. He is also leader of a new project regarding economic evaluation of low-impact logging techniques in Latin America that includes the Tapajós National Forest as a case study.

Erin O. Sills, Visiting Professor. Ms. Sills guided the development and implementation of the community surveys.

Julie B. Tanner, Marketing Researcher. Ms. Tanner was instrumental in the development and implementation of the ecotourism surveys.
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For more information on these projects, please contact Jan Engert, International Programs/Brazil Coordinator USDA Forest Service 1099 14th Street NW, Suite 5500W Washington, D.C. 20005 Phone: (202)273-4752 Fax: (202)273-4748 email:




For further information, contact:
Dr. David Sandberg, Team Leader
3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331 USA
(541)750-7265; (541)758-7760 fax
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