PORTLAND, Ore. April 17, 2007. One of the
challenges of managing forests is deciding among management practices,
particularly when the landscape effects these practices will have
are not fully known.
Since 1995, Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station scientists
and their colleagues from Oregon State University and the Oregon
Department of Forestry have been
conducting research that provides managers with a better idea of the effects—both
intended and unintended—that forest management practices can have on landscapes.
Findings from this research were published recently in a series of six invited
papers in Ecological Applications, a peer-reviewed journal of the Ecological
Society of America.
“This research is one of the first and most integrated studies of the ‘big
picture’ of forest management across ownerships anywhere in the world,” said
Gordon Reeves, a coauthor on several of the invited papers and one of the Station’s
lead investigators with the research project, known as the Coastal Landscape
Analysis and Modeling Study (CLAMS).
CLAMS examines the ecological, economic,
and social consequences of forest policies in Oregon’s Coast Range,
which spans eastward from the state’s coastline
to the western edge of the Willamette Valley. It treats these policies—which
influence which management practices managers choose to use—as untested
hypotheses and projects how they may impact federal, state, and private forest
lands in the area’s nearly five million acres.
Some of CLAMS’ findings
- The area of older forest and habitat for old-forest species
in the Coast Range is expected to strongly increase over the
100 years if policies
- Widespread recovery of coho salmon is unlikely without improvement
in habitats on private lands; habitat conditions for salmon and
the Coast Range are more likely to improve on public lands than on private.
biodiversity policies have been developed in a largely uncoordinated
manner, leading to less-than efficient production of some forest values,
such as timber and fish, in the region.
- The area of diverse early-successional
and hardwood forest is expected to strongly decline in the
Coast Range as federal lands concentrate on
producing old-growth forests and private industrial lands focus on intensive
Declines in plant and animal populations may occur as a result.
“The greatest benefit of CLAMS may be its ability to change
how people think about forests, which may ultimately lead to better
understanding and a more effective mix of forest values,” Reeves
Several land management agencies have adopted CLAMS’ models and techniques
to improve their ability to understand the effects of management on the production
of forest goods and services.
To learn more about CLAMS, visit http://www.fsl.orst.edu/clams/.
For more information on the invited papers published in Ecological
Applications, visit http://esapubs.org/esapubs/journals/applications.htm.
The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11
laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about