Forest and Rangeland Resource Interactions

A supporting technical document to the 1989 RPA Assessment

Information on resource interactions has been identified as an essential component of national resource assessments. The term Aresource interactions" simply refers to the mutual influence (in production) that different forest and rangeland resources have upon each other. Forest and rangeland resources are interactive in production because they share or are simultaneously affected by common labor, land, capital, and managerial inputs. The estimation of resource interactions has proved to be very complex, especially where many resource outputs are involved over a large geographic area.

This paper presents an analysis of resource interactions on the National Forest System lands, based on information developed in the forest planning process. Three questions were addressed:

1. What trends in costs are implied for simultaneously maintaining current production levels of all resources and environmental conditions on the National Forest System?

2. If the National Forest System were to maintain a constant share of total national resource production, would the demand projections developed for individual resources in other recent assessment analyses be simultaneously achievable?

3. If an attempt were to be made for the National Forest System to maintain a constant proportion of these demand projections, what would the impacts be on cost trends and environmental conditions?

The results indicated that current levels of production and environmental conditions can be simultaneously maintained at current levels of cost in the National Forest System. However, this conclusion is limited to the particular outputs and environmental indicators included in the study. Within the range of alternatives generated in forest planning, it does not appear to be feasible for the National Forest System to maintain a constant proportion of national production, if that national production is to simultaneously meet the projected demands in individual resource analyses. It is impossible to determine whether this reflects true physical limitations to production or the limits of the forest planning alternatives.

Hof, John and Tony Baltic. 1989. Forest and Rangeland Resource Interactions. General Technical Report RM-156. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 31 p.

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