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Putting science into action on Forest Service Lands [Chapter 5]

Block, William M.; Saab, Victoria A.; Ruggiero, Leonard. 2012. Putting science into action on Forest Service Lands [Chapter 5]. In: Sands, J. P.; DeMaso, S. J.; Schnupp, M. J.; Brennan, L. A., eds. Wildlife science: Connecting research with management. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 49-62.

The U.S. Forest Service includes three main branches: National Forest Systems, Research and Development, and State and Private Forestry. Herein, we focus on National Forest Systems and Research and Development. National Forest Systems is the management branch of the agency, and its charge is to administer national forests and grasslands throughout the United States. A number of laws, statutes, and policies guide and direct how forests should be managed, including provisions for considering and applying the best available science when planning and executing management actions. The Research and Development branch of the Forest Service is separate from the Management branch and this separation is purposeful. Its charge is to design and conduct research to provide the scientific basis for natural resource management on Forest Service lands. Even though these two branches of the Forest Service are separate, they are linked by virtue of being within the same agency. This linkage reflects the intent for management of Forest Service lands to be guided by the best available science, a concept deeply embedded within the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and the enabling regulatory language. Despite the intent of Congress, application of science to management has been variable and has changed with each revision of the implementing language (i.e., planning rule) for NFMA. Our objectives here are to review the historical and current roles of science in guiding management of wildlife on national Forest Service lands. We will draw on case studies (Mexican spotted owl [Strix occidentalis lucida] and sensitive northwestern woodpeckers) to illustrate situations where science was heeded and where it was not for managing these species, and discuss the ramifications of doing so.

Keywords: U.S. Forest Service, forests, management, wildlife

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Putting science into action on Forest Service Lands [Chapter 5]
Electronic Publish Date: September 26, 2013
Last Update:
September 26, 2013

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