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Using basic geographic information systems functionality to support sustainable forest management decision making and post-decision assessments


McRoberts, Ronald E.; Barbour, R. James; Gebert, Krista M.; Liknes, Greg C.; Nelson, Mark D.; Meneguzzo, Dacia M.; Odell, Susan L.; Yaddof, Steven C.; Stein, Susan M.; Mowrer, H. Todd; Lynn, Kathy; Gerlitz, Wendy M. 2006. Using basic geographic information systems functionality to support sustainable forest management decision making and post-decision assessments. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 23(4): 13-34.

Sustainable management of natural resources requires informed decision making and post-decision assessments of the results of those decisions. Increasingly, both activities rely on analyses of spatial data in the forms of maps and digital data layers. Fortunately, a variety of supporting maps and data layers rapidly are becoming available. Unfortunately, however, user-friendly tools to assist decision makers and analysts in the use and interpretation of these data generally are not available. Such tools would properly be in the form of decision support systems that incorporate basic geographic information system (GIS) functionality. A spatial decision support system featuring basic GIS functionality was designed to illustrate how such systems may be used to support decision making and post-decision assessments. Thls utility is illustrated with four sustainable forest management examples. Decision making is the focus of three of the examples: (1) allocating funding for forest wildfire mitigation purposes, (2) identifying forested watersheds at risk of conversion to non-forest land uses, and (3) identifying lands in the Rocky Mountains with potential for management for water yield. An assessment of the results of previous decisions is the focus of the example: (4) evaluating the socio-economic effects of the allocation of wildfire mitigation funds.

Keywords: decision support system, Montreal Process, digital data layers


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Using basic geographic information systems functionality to support sustainable forest management decision making and post-decision assessments
Electronic Publish Date: November 28, 2007
Last Update:
November 28, 2007

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