In response to the new forest planning rule, the Forest Service has formally adopted the concept and language of ecosystem services as a way to describe the beneficial outcomes of national forest management. A new report reviews the economic theory of ecosystems services as it applies to public land management under the new planning rule and considers what the theory implies about the types of biophysical and other data that are needed for characterizing management outcomes with changes in ecosystem services.
The report serves as a guide to policymakers, managers, researchers, and others who evaluate and describe the tradeoffs involved in the methods used to manage public lands. The Forest Service Ecosystem Services Valuation Working Group is using the report to develop a technical advice bulletin for Forest Service staff. The technical advice bulletin will guide national forest staff in their efforts to consider the relative contributions and values of ecosystem services in forest planning and other decisionmaking situations.