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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Research Topics Ecosystem Processes
About this Research:
Sierra Nevada Ecosystems
Institutional and Policy Processes
Current institutional capacities to articulate problems, participate in strategic planning and investment, and influence public land and resources decision-making varies considerably across jurisdictions and geography. The U.S. Forest Service is only one among many public agencies whose institutional processes are adapting to changes in public values and choices. There is a need to better understand institutional constraints and opportunities, and how interests interact with resource management institutions, in the context of public land decision-making. Research is needed on a broad range of social, economic and institutional factors that affect landscapes and land use decisions in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere.
Subproblem 1: Develop appropriate research methodologies to understand institutional processes by which resource values are established as public goods.
The mission of the US Forest Service is to conserve, protect and provide a broad range of public uses and benefits. However, the definition of "beneficial use" changes with different social, political and historical contexts. The agency increasingly finds itself in a position to mediate policy and political processes through which values for public resources are established, and against which trade-offs among costs and benefits can be measured. These processes are poorly understood, both in the immediate context of Forest Service decision-making, and in the larger context of how the values of public goods are defined, established, conserved and traded.
Subproblem 2: Barriers to Investment in Private Sector Biobased Products and Energy Infrastructure.
is made of the need to find new markets for the utilization of
a new suite of forest resources issuing from forest health restoration
treatments. However, very little actual data have been gathered
on the broad range of activities involved. Solid research work
is being conducted by other Forest Service Research Stations on
fuels treatment techniques, methods and costs. Further work through
FIA and PNW has led to useful and effective models that help to
calculate the costs involved in moving lower value materials to
markets. What requires much better focus is the policy context
within which incentives are provided and barriers to market development
are lifted. There is a need to analyze comprehensively the economic
and social impacts of policies that affect our ability to envision,
design, and implement appropriate land management decisions.
Subproblem 3: Adaptive Management and Community-Scale Collaborative Planning
broad range of public interest groups and individuals increasingly
see their prerogative to participate in shaping the very questions
and assumptions made in land management decisions. A growing body
of research has focused on the community and social aspects of
collaborative decision-making. However, a much smaller body of
research exists on the political processes and power negotiation
strategies inherent in all collaborative decision-making.
|Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 10:57:40 AM|