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Simulating the volume and quality of wood produced under an ecologically sustainable landscape management plan in the Oregon Cascade Mountains

images of trees laying across each other after being cut. Issues

  • The system of riparian and late successional reserves established under the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) segregate the landscape into a complex network of use categories making forest operations difficult and expensive.
  • Landscape management models that mimic natural disturbances may achieve the NWFP objectives without intricate reserves and at lower costs.
  • Little is known about the trade-offs among ecological, social, and economic

    The Ecologically Sustainable Production of Forest Resources (ESP) Team at the PNW Station is working in conjunction with the Central Cascades Adaptive Management Area to evaluate the relative costs and wood product potential of a disturbance based plan for meeting the NWFP Aquatic Conservation Strategy. The analysis is based on the Blue River Landscape Management Plan developed by the Ecological Processes Program at the PNW Station. It uses the Landscape Management System (LMS) to simulate stand growth and structure to compare a range of ecological, social, and economic values across the watershed through time.fisherman enjoying the river.


  • Current vegetation inventory data has been collected for 980 stands in a 59,000-acre watershed and entered into the LMS computer model used for analysis.
  • Development of thinning prescriptions and treatment schedules is proceeding.
  • Simulation of stand growth with the Forest Vegetation Simulator model has begun.
  • A computer program to evaluate wood quality based on tree and log characteristics is under development.

Contacts: Glenn Christensen or Jamie Barbour, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. (503) 808-2000.