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Socioeconomic Focus - Planning Rule Connections 2012
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Socioeconomic Focus - Planning Rule Connections 2012

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6. Social, cultural, and economic conditions

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Ecosystems are spatially explicit, relatively homogeneous units of the Earth that include all interacting organisms and elements of the abiotic environment within their boundaries. They should be described in terms of their composition, structure, function, and connectivity. These publications and tools include valuable information for terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems, and watersheds. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Sustainability

The capability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For the purposes of this part, "ecological sustainability" refers to the capacity of ecosystems to maintain ecological integrity; "economic sustainability" refers to the capability of society to produce and consume or otherwise benefit from goods and services including contributions to jobs and market and nonmarket benefits; and "social sustainability" refers to the capability of society to support the network of relationships, traditions, culture, and activities that connect people to the land and to one another, and support vibrant communities.

Resources Planning Act Assessment

Applicability: This assessment of natural resource conditions and trends, occurs every ten years. It is a useful source of national trends, regional information, and scenario-based planning information. The RPA includes a variety of technical supporting documents on specific topics which can be useful in other assessment areas as well, many of which include detail at the county-level. Many of these include demographic data and information about how socieconomic and climatic changes will result in differences in resource use.

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Year: 2010

Summary: The most current assessment, Future of America's Forests and Rangelands: Forest Service 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment, is now available. The report provides a snapshot of current U.S. forest and rangeland conditions (all ownerships), identifies drivers of change for natural resource conditions, and projects the effects of those drivers on resource conditions 50 years into the future. This assessment uses a set of future scenarios that influence the resource projections, allowing us to explore a range of possible futures for U.S. renewable natural resources. Alternative future scenarios were used to analyze the effects of human and environmental influences on our forests and rangelands, including population growth, domestic and global economic growth, land use change, and climate change.

Scope / Scale: National, regional, and county level information.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/research/rpa/

Economic Profile System - Human Dimensions Toolkit

Applicability: Developed by Headwaters Economics and approved for agency use, this tool generates 14 different reports which give useable data regarding economic conditions and trends. It can be accessed either through the USFS Intranet or by the public. It does not take much time to learn how to use, which is a plus. Reports can be done at the county level, including combining multiple counties, which makes it applicable at the planning scale. The USFS intraweb site for it has a presentation on how to use it as part of the planning rule assessment.

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Summary: EPS-HDT (Economic Profile System - Human Dimensions Toolkit) is a free, easy-to-use software application that runs as an Excel Add-in from your desktop, and produces detailed socioeconomic reports of counties, states, and regions, including custom aggregations. For more information on specific socioeconomic reports and how to install follow the link above. EPS-HDT uses published statistics from federal data sources, including the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Bureau of Labor Statisitics, U.S. Department of Labor; and others. The databases are updated every year so that EPS-HDT uses the latest published statistics.

Scope / Scale: Reports can be run at county, state, and regional levels.

Internet Address: http://headwaterseconomics.org/tools/eps-hdt | http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/em/HD/eps_hdt.htm

National Report on Sustainable Forests

Applicability: In its data on sustainable forests, criteria 6 and 7 are especially useful here and get at the human dimensions, community aspects, and what people get from National Forests. A lot of the information comes from the Forest Inventory Analysis but is here presented in a different and very user-friendly format. Some data from the report can be used at a more local scale.

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Year: 2010

Summary: This is a report on the state of forests in the United States of America and the indicators of national progress toward the goal of sustainable forest management. The report is designed to provide information that will improve public dialog and decision making on desired outcomes and needed actions to move the Nation toward this goal. The 64 indicators of forest sustainability used in the report reflect many of the environmental, social, and economic concerns of the American public regarding forests, and they help us establish a quantitative baseline for measuring progress toward sustainability. While the report presents data primarily at a national or regional level, it also provides a valuable context for related efforts to ensure sustainability at other geographic and political scales. Action at all levels is vital to achieving sustainable forest management in the United States.

Scope / Scale: Primarily national and regional information, some more local.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/research/sustain/ | http://www.fs.fed.us/research/sustain/criteria-indicators/

ImPLAN

Applicability: This tool includes an extensive amounts of economic data, currently up-to-date through 2009. It is recommended to be used by an economist. The USFS intranet includes disclaimers regarding copyright and licensing concerns with ImPLAN data, and should be followed. You can work with your local Forest Service partner to view this resource.

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Summary: Under a site license from the Minnesota Implan Group Inc. the US Forest Service uses a database and modeling system dubbed IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANning) to carry out regional economic studies of the consequences of Agency decisions and proposed actions. Some typical applications of regional economic analysis are: Affected environment analysis, Community diversity and dependency analysis, Rural development, Forest planning, Strategic planning, and Policy analysis

Scope / Scale: Reports can be run at community, county, and levels.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/pag/economics.shtml

Social, Cultural, and Economic Aspects of Livestock Ranching on the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests

Applicability: This resource is of particular note to the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests in Region 3. Some of the common themes can be applied to other ranching communities, especially in that region but also elsewhere in the RMRS footprint.

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Authors: Alice M. McSweeney; Carol Raish

Publication Number: GTR-276

Year: 2012

Summary: We examined the cultural, social, and economic aspects of livestock operations of ranchers who have Federal grazing permits (called permittees) on the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests of northern New Mexico. This study was an expansion of the 2003 pilot study and was designed to provide much-needed information concerning the culture and economic practices of the northern New Mexico region for USDA employees, policy makers, social science researchers, and the general public. The research focused on both the economic and noneconomic contributions of livestock ownership to local families and communities, and we explored ways in which ranching maintains traditional values and connects families to ancestral lands and heritage. Sense of place, attachment to land, and the value of preserving open space were common themes throughout the interviews. The importance of land and animals as means of maintaining culture and way of life figured repeatedly in permittee responses, as did the subjects of responsibility and respect for land, animals, family, and community. This report will assist agency land managers in the effective administration of forest lands by promoting greater cultural understanding of the local ranching community. It will also serve as an educational tool for the public, as many visitors and residents of New Mexico are unfamiliar with the primarily Hispanic culture and traditions of the region. Due to the history of land ownership in the region, many ranching operations rely on public lands for livestock grazing. Recognizing the importance of these small livestock operations to area communities and families is crucial to comprehending and resolving disputes over public land and resource use."

Scope / Scale: Two specific national forests with potential for regional extrapolation.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr276.html


7. Benefits people obtain from the NFS planning area (ecosystem services)

The concept of ecosystem services links ecological processes and functions with the benefits that people drive from them. Ecosystem services can be categorized as provisioning, regulating, supporting, or cultural. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding ecosystem services. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Evaluating tradeoffs among ecosystem services in the management of public lands.

Applicability: An excellent report including information that goes into detail on the concept of ecosystem services and how to apply it. It focuses on tradeoffs and the different level of typology precision needed for different levels of planning. In discusses utilizing qualitative methods in evaluating ecosystem services, it explains that assigning dollar values is not always necessary. On the planning side, it gets into the impact of disturbance and management efforts on different ecosystem services.

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Authors: Kline, Jeffrey D.; Mazzotta, Marisa J.

Publication Number: PNW-GTR-865

Year: 2012

Summary: The U.S. Forest Service has adopted the concept and language of ecosystem services to describe the beneficial outcomes of national forest management. We review the economic theory of ecosystem services as it applies to public lands management, and consider what it implies about the types of biophysical and other data that are needed for characterizing management outcomes as changes in ecosystem services. Our intent is to provide a guide to policymakers, managers, researchers, and others for evaluating and describing the tradeoffs involved in the management of public lands. Characterizing ecosystem services fundamentally is about explaining the benefits of national forests to the American public, with an emphasis on addressing their interests and concerns about how public lands are managed. Our hope is that this report will foster dialog about what people value about national forests and how public land management agencies might best go about securing those benefits.

Scope / Scale: Explains key ecosystem services concepts.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr865.pdf

Millenial Ecosystem Assessment

Applicability: This global assessment forms the foundation for organizing ecosystem services, including how they are defined in the 2012 Planning Rule. It includes information on global trends and is identifies key examples of provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services.

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Year: 2005

Summary: The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was called for by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000. Initiated in 2001, the objective of the MA was to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human well-being. The MA has involved the work of more than 1,360 experts worldwide. Their findings, contained in five technical volumes and six synthesis reports, provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world's ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, flood control, and natural resources) and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems.

Scope / Scale: Global assessment that also forms the foundation for the organization of ecosystem services.

Internet Address: http://www.unep.org/maweb/en/index.aspx

Applying the Ecosystem Services Concept to Public Land Management

Applicability: This paper directly discusses using ecosystem services as a part of the 2012 planning rule. It gives a history of ecosystems services within the context of multiple use and other USFS management. The authors discuss the role of disturbance and encourage utilizing qualitative methods to consider ecosystem services and their tradeoffs.

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Authors: Jeffrey D. Kline, Marisa J. Mazzotta, Thomas A. Spies, and Mark E. Harmon

Year: 2013

Summary: We examine challenges and opportunities involved in applying ecosystem services to public land management with an emphasis on national forests in the United States. We review historical forest management paradigms and related economic approaches, outline a conceptual framework defining the informational needs of forest managers, and consider the feasibility of its application given the types of ecological information typically available and the expanding set of services considered in management decisions. Economists can make their work more relevant to managers by broadening their focus to include qualitative approaches and more directly and effectively collaborating with managers and natural scientists.

Scope / Scale: Explains key ecosystem services concepts.

Internet Address: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/148405/2/ARER%202013%2042x1%20KlineEtal.pdf

Ecosystem Services: Just Another Catch Phrase?

Applicability: This two-page document from the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute can help give a quick introduction to the ecosystem services concept.

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Authors: Emily Weidner

Year: 2011

Summary: The "ecosystem services" concept has emerged as a popular area of discussion among policy makers and conservation advocates. Ecosystem services are the benefits people derive from nature and include the provision of water, food, wood, and fiber; regulation of climate, flood, drought, and disease; maintenance of biodiversity; and recreational, aesthetic, spiritual, and cultural values. Ecosystem services brings together traditionally disparate fields of ecology, economics, and geography to address how the services are generated, how they flow across the landscape, who benefits from them, and by how much.

Scope / Scale: Explains key ecosystem services concepts.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2011_weidner_e001.pdf

WaSSI

Applicability: This spatial model can be used to map watershed services with consumption being considered. Users can also incorporate climate projections into the information.

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Summary: The Water Supply Stress Index Model (WaSSI) is a web-based tool that can be used to project the effects of land use change, climate change, and water withdrawals on river flows, water supply stress, and ecosystem productivity (i.e. carbon sequestration dynamics) across the conterminous United States and Mexico. As water yield and carbon sequestration are tightly coupled, WaSSI is useful for evaluating trade-offs among management strategies for these ecosystem services.

Scope / Scale: 8-digit HUC watershed

Internet Address: http://www.wassiweb.sgcp.ncsu.edu/

SolVES

Applicability: This GIS-based tool was developed by the USGS. It requires the user to input social values to be mapped across the data set, which could be done by survey or could be estimated by managers. Users need access to ArcGIS to run this program. It includes an example set from the Pike-San Isabel National Forest.

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Summary: In response to the need for incorporating quantified and spatially explicit measures of social values into ecosystem services assessments, the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center (GECSC), in collaboration with Dr. Jessica Clement at the University of Wyoming, developed a geographic information system (GIS) application, Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES). SolVES is designed to assess, map, and quantify the perceived social values of ecosystem services, such as aesthetics and recreation. These nonmonetary values, often corresponding to cultural ecosystem services, can be analyzed for various stakeholder groups as distinguished by their attitudes and preferences regarding public uses, such as motorized recreation or logging. SolVES derives a quantitative, 10-point, social-values metric, the Value Index, from a combination of spatial and nonspatial responses to public value and preference surveys and calculates metrics characterizing the underlying environment, such as average distance to water and dominant landcover.

Scope / Scale: Site-specific planning area.

Internet Address: http://solves.cr.usgs.gov/ | http://solves.cr.usgs.gov/downloads/PSI_Final_Survey.pdf

A GIS Application for Assessing, Mapping, and Quantifying the Social Values of Ecosystem Services

Applicability: This paper explains the USGS-developed SolVES ecosystem services program for GIS. It uses the Pike-San Isabel National Forest as an example.

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Authors: Benson C. Sherrousea, Jessica M. Clementb, Darius J. Semmensa

Year: 2011

Summary: As human pressures on ecosystems continue to increase, research involving the effective incorporation of social values information into the context of comprehensive ecosystem services assessments is becoming more important. Including quantified, spatially explicit social value metrics in such assessments will improve the analysis of relative tradeoffs among ecosystem services. This paper describes a GIS application, Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES), developed to assess, map, and quantify the perceived social values of ecosystem services by deriving a non-monetary Value Index from responses to a public attitude and preference survey. SolVES calculates and maps the Value Index for social values held by various survey subgroups, as distinguished by their attitudes regarding ecosystem use. Index values can be compared within and among survey subgroups to explore the effect of social contexts on the valuation of ecosystem services. Index values can also be correlated and regressed against landscape metrics SolVES calculates from various environmental data layers. Coefficients derived through these analyses were applied to their corresponding data layers to generate a predicted social value map. This map compared favorably with other SolVES output and led to the addition of a predictive mapping function to SolVES for value transfer to areas where survey data are unavailable. A more robust application is being developed as a public domain tool for decision makers and researchers to map social values of ecosystem services and to facilitate discussions among diverse stakeholders involving relative tradeoffs among different ecosystem services in a variety of physical and social contexts.

Scope / Scale: Description of SolVES program, specific information for Pike-San Isabel.

Internet Address: http://solves.cr.usgs.gov/downloads/SolVES_GIS_App_Geog_preprint.pdf

Climate Change and Ecosystem Services: The Contribution of and Impacts on Federal Public Lands in the United States

Applicability: This paper has a good list connecting ecological processes to ecosystem functions to ecosystem services. It builds climate change into ecosystem service valuation. It presents a reporting analysis for certain ecosystem services and their values across all public lands and for total ecosystem services by NLCD region.

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Authors: Valerie Esposito, Spencer Phillips, Roelof Boumans, Azur Moulaert, and Jennifer Boggs

Publication Number: P-64, Sec. 5

Year: 2011

Summary: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007) reports a likely 2 °C to 4.5 °C temperature rise in the upcoming decades. This warming is likely to affect ecosystems and their ability to provide services that benefit human well-being. Ecosystem services valuation (ESV), meanwhile, has emerged as a way to recognize the economic value embodied in these services that is not currently reflected in markets. To contribute to better understanding of how U.S. conservation lands may be affected by climate change, we outline a method and preliminary estimates of the value of ecosystem services harbored or produced in abundance on those lands as well as how that value may change under climate change scenarios. We combine GIS analysis with the benefits transfer method to estimate potential global-warming-induced changes in the economic value of ecosystem services produced by U.S. conservation lands. Using conservative assumptions, the overall trend indicates that the majority of ecosystem services values decreases as temperature increases. While some ecosystem service values increase in the 2 °C scenario in several regions, the values markedly decrease in all but one region under the 4.5 °C scenario. These results are consistent with other major studies, such as the IPCC and the Cost of Policy Inaction reports, and indicate the important role of public conservation lands in providing ecosystem services and the need for policy action to avoid major economic losses were climate change to impair the health of those lands.

Scope / Scale: National and regional information.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_p064/rmrs_p064_155_164.pdf

Nonmarket economic values of forest insect pests: An updated literature review.

Applicability: This report considers the nonmarket impact of insects and pests, the other side of the picture for ecosystem services that regulate them. It gives some good specific examples in the literature review that could be used by individual forests.

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Authors: Rosenberger, Randall S.; Bell, Lauren A.; Champ, Patricia A.; Smith, Eric. L.

Publication Number: GTR-275

Year: 2012

Summary: This report updates the literature review and synthesis of economic valuation studies on the impacts of forest insect pests by Rosenberger and Smith (1997). A conceptual framework is presented to establish context for the studies. This report also discusses the concept of ecosystem services; identifies key elements of each study; examines areas of future research; and includes appendices that further explain nonmarket valuation methods, a narrative of each study, and tables that summarize each study. The primary services affected by insects are restricted in the literature to include recreation, aesthetic or scenic beauty of landscapes, and property values. Monetary metrics across studies include willingness to pay estimates per acre, per person or household, per tree, and/or for various levels of damages. While this literature is limited and heterogeneous, individual studies may prove useful in assessing current and future policies associated with forest insect pests in the United States.

Scope / Scale: Variable depending on literature selected.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr275.html

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Ecosystem services

(1) Provisioning services, such as clean air and fresh water, energy, fuel, forage, fiber, and minerals;
(2) Regulating services, such as long term storage of carbon; climate regulation; water filtration, purification, and storage; soil stabilization; flood control; and disease regulation;
(3) Supporting services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, soil formation, and nutrient cycling; and
(4) Cultural services, such as educational, aesthetic, spiritual and cultural heritage values, recreational experiences and tourism opportunities.


8. Multiple uses and their contributions to local, regional, and national economies

The ecosystems in National Forests are dynamic systems. They react to systems drivers ranging from wildland fire to climate change in different ways. These resources provide a starting point for assessing both the presence of stressors and the ways in which ecosystems adapt. The information here should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Integrated resource management

Multiple use management that recognizes the interdependence of ecological resources and is based on the need for integrated consideration of ecological, social, and economic factors.

Management system

For purposes of this subpart, a timber management system including even-aged management and uneven-aged management.

Multiple use

The management of all the various renewable surface resources of the NFS so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of teh land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; that some land will be used for less than all of the resources; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources, each with the other, without impairment of the productivity of the land, with consideration being given to the relative values of the various resources, and not necessarily the combination of uses that will give the greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output, consistent with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960.

Productivity

The capacity of the NFS lands and their ecological systems to provide the various renewable resources in certain amounts in perpetuity. For the purposes of this subpart, productivity is an ecological term, not an economic term.

Timber harvest

The removal of trees for wood fiber use and other multiple-use purposes.

TImber production

The purposeful growing, tending, harvesting, and regeneration of regulated crops of trees to be cut into logs, bolts, or other round sections for industrial or consumer use.

Mean annual increment of growth and culmination of mean annual increment of growth

Mean annual increment of growth is the total increment of increase of volume of a stand (standing crop plus thinnings) up to a given age divided by that age. Culmination of mean annual increment of growth is the age in the growth cycle of an even-aged stand at which the average annual rate of increase of volume is at maximum. In land management plans, mean annual increment is expressed in cubic measure and is based on the expected growth of stands, according to intensities and utilization guidelines in the plan.

Forest Service Natural Resource Manager

Applicability: This suite of tools includes extensive information regarding multiple uses, including timber information. You can work with your local Forest Service partner to view this resource.

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Summary: Natural Resource Manager (NRM) is a national Forest Service organization that is responsible for coordinating software development activities for four application groups whose data are accessible through the NRM platform or the Enterprise Data Center (EDC): Forest Service Activity Tracking System (FACTS), Infra, Natural Resource Information System (NRIS), Timber Information Manager (TIM)

These applications often intersect in how they collect and share data and in how they develop software and use technology. NRM finds ways to manage and grow these applications efficiently, and has already begun to standardize the processes used to develop an integrated program of work. NRM also will be looking for effective ways to use resources to reduce duplication of effort and to maximize technology investments.

Scope / Scale: Variable depending on report generated.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/nrm/index.shtml | http://fsweb.nrm.fs.fed.us

Forestry-based biomass economic and financial information and tools: An annotated bibliography

Applicability: This publication includes information on a variety of modeling tools, papers, and other information regarding woody biomass production.

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Authors: Loeffler, Dan; Brandt, Jason; Morgan, Todd; Jones, Greg

Publication Number: GTR-244

Year: 2010

Summary: This annotated bibliography is a synthesis of information products available to land managers in the western United States regarding economic and financial aspects of forestry-based woody biomass removal, a component of fire hazard and/or fuel reduction treatments. This publication contains over 200 forestry-based biomass papers, financial models, sources of biomass and log price information, and biomass utilization facility locations.

Scope / Scale: Variable depending on tool or paper accessed.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr244.html

The Four Corners timber harvest and forest products industry, 2007.

Applicability: This FIA report gives state-level timber information for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

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Authors: Hayes, Steven W.; Morgan, Todd A.; Berg, Erik C.; Daniels, Jean M.; Thompson, Mike T.

Publication Number: RB-13

Year: 2012

Summary: This report traces the flow of timber harvested in the "Four Corners" States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) during calendar year 2007, describes the composition and operations of the region's primary forest products industry, and quantifies volumes and uses of wood fiber. Historical wood products industry changes are discussed, as well as trends in timber harvest, production, and sales of primary wood products.

Scope / Scale: State and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rb013.html

Idaho's forest products industry and timber harvest, 2006.

Applicability: This FIA report gives state-level timber information for Idaho.

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Authors: Brandt, Jason P.; Morgan, Todd A.; Keegan, Charles E., III; Songster, Jon M.; Spoelma, Timothy P.; DeBlander, Larry T.

Publication Number: RB-12

Year: 2012

Summary: This report traces the flow of Idaho's 2006 timber harvest through the primary wood-using industries; describes the structure, capacity, and condition of Idaho's primary forest products industry; and quantifies volumes and uses of wood fiber. Wood products industry historical trends and changes in harvest, production, employment, and sales are also examined.

Scope / Scale: State and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rb012.html

Wyoming's forest products industry and timber harvest, 2005.

Applicability: This FIA report gives state-level timber information for Wyoming.

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Authors: Brandt, Jason P.; Morgan, Todd A.; Thompson, Mike T.

Publication Number: RB-9

Year: 2009

Summary: This report traces the flow of Wyoming's 2005 timber harvest through the primary timber-processing industry to the wholesale market and residue-using sectors. The structure, capacity, operations, and conditions of Wyoming's primary forest products industry are described; and volumes and uses of wood fiber are quantified. Historical and recent changes in Wyoming's forest products industry, including harvest, production, and sales are also discussed.

Scope / Scale: State and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rb009.html

Montana's forest products industry and timber harvest, 2004.

Applicability: This FIA report gives state-level timber information for Montana.

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Authors: Spoelma, Timothy P.; Morgan, Todd A.; Dillon, Thale; Chase, Alfred L.; Keegan, Charles E., III; DeBlander, Larry T.

Publication Number: RB-8

Year: 2008

Summary: This report traces the flow of Montana's 2004 timber harvest through the primary wood-using industries; provides a description of the structure, capacity, and condition of Montana's primary forest products industry; and quantifies volumes and uses of wood fiber. Historical wood products industry changes are discussed, as well as changes in harvest, production, employment, and sales.

Scope / Scale: State and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rb008.html

Forest Products website

Applicability: Includes several publicly available reports including Periodic Timber Sale Accomplishment Reports (PTSAR), updated quarterly and by fiscal year for each National Forest by region (utilizing TIM data).

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Summary: One of the strategic goals of the Forest Service is to provide and sustain benefits to the American People. To accomplish this goal, one of the objectives is to provide a reliable supply of forest products over time consistent with achieving the desired conditions on National Forest System (NFS) lands and to maintain or create processing capacity and infrastructure in local communities. (USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan FY 2007-2012, July 2007 (PDF, 2.0 MB))

Forest products include materials derived from a forest for commercial use such as lumber and paper, and also ""special forest products"" such as medicinal herbs, fungi, edible fruits and nuts, and other natural products.

Scope / Scale: forest; region

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/forestmanagement/products/index.shtml

Status and Trends for the U.S. Forest Products Sector: A Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment.

Applicability: Gives forest products data and trends at a national scale.

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Authors: Skog, Kenneth E.; McKeever, David B.; Ince, Peter J.; Howard, James L.; Spelter, Henry N.; Schuler, Albert T.

Publication Number: FPL-GTR-207

Year: 2012

Summary: Forest products sector products and income help sustain the social, economic, and ecological benefits of forestry in the United States. Solidwood products consumption increased with population between 1965 and 2008 and varied with housing starts. Lumber's share declined from 83% to 70%, and structural panels' share increased from 9% to 17%. Paper and paperboard consumption increased with gross domestic product until 1999, then stopped increasing partly due to a shift in advertising to electronic media and a shift from domestic manufacturing to imports of manufactured products. Roundwood needed to make products consumed, including imports, have remained remarkably stable at 1.75 m3 per capita although the portion from imports has varied. Per capita consumption declined during the recent recession. Net imports have varied with the U.S. dollar exchange rate. Net import share varied between 5% and 10% from 1965 to the early 1990s, increased to over 20% by 2004–2005 and declined with the recession to 12% in 2009. Structural panel and lumber production have increased with increasing housing starts but declined more than 40% in 2009 - associated with a 72% decline in housing starts through 2010. Paper and paperboard production increased faster than lumber production from 1965 to 1999, after which paperboard production leveled off and paper production declined. Prospects for solidwood, paper and paperboard production will be influenced by the economic recovery, particularly housing starts and intensity of wood use per unit of economic activity; by global demand and supply, and by the long-term value of the dollar. Consumption of wood for energy was stable from 1950 through the mid 1970s. Roundwood fuelwood and black liquor/residue use doubled by the mid 1980's then declined. Residential fuelwood use declined the most until about 1999 and has since been stable to increasing. Because most wood energy is linked to pulp or solidwood products production, the wood energy share of outputs has remained relatively

Scope / Scale: national

Internet Address: http://treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/40474

Sustainable Rangelands Ecosystem Goods and Services

Applicability: This paper gives an overview of what rangelands provide, using ecosystem goods and services as a framework. It could also be applicable in assessment area 7, ecosystem services.

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Authors: Dr. Kristie Maczko; Ms. Lori Hidinger, eds.

Year: 2008

Summary: The Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) recognizes the unique contributions rangeland resources make to the nation's wellbeing. To communicate the importance of these commodity and amenity values, SRR participants developed this primer on rangeland ecosystem goods and services. It summarizes the history of the nation's relationship with and reliance upon rangeland resources, as well as the evolution of SRR's contribution to current concepts about advancing rangeland stewardship and conservation. We discuss not only extractable goods derived from rangelands, but both tangible and intangible rangeland ecosystem services and the core ecosystem processes that underlie these goods and services. One section outlines an applied evaluation method suitable for use by ranchers, technical service providers and other private and public land managers who seek to identify and consider the income potential of rangeland ecosystem goods and services provided by their lands. We use a hypothetical ranching operation in Montana to highlight relevant questions and conversations between a rancher and a conservation technical service provider to determine such potential.

Scope / Scale: Primarily conceptual, broad-based information.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2008_maczko_k001.html

A synoptic review of U.S. rangelands: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment.

Applicability: Focus on grazing for multiple use with national maps showing data from the county level and regional analysis of status and trends. Also gives state analysis of forage, cattle, and "rangeland health." Considers an ecosystem services perspective, which could be useful for assessment area 7 (isn't the best there) and also considers rangelands from the perspective of energy production, which could be useful in assessment area 10.

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Authors: Reeves, Matthew Clark; Mitchell, John E.

Publication Number: GTR-288

Year: 2012

Summary: The Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 requires the USDA Forest Service to conduct assessments of resource conditions. This report fulfills that need and focuses on quantifying extent, productivity, and health of U.S. rangelands. Since 1982, the area of U.S. rangelands has decreased at an average rate of 350,000 acres per year owed mostly to conversion to agricultural and residential land uses. Nationally, rangeland productivity has been steady over the last decade, but the Rocky Mountain Assessment Region appears to have moderately increased productivity since 2000. The forage situation is positive and, from a national perspective, U.S. rangelands can probably support a good deal more animal production than current levels. Sheep numbers continue to decline, horses and goats have increased numbers, and cattle have slightly increased, averaging 97 million animals per year since 2002. Data from numerous sources indicate rangelands are relatively healthy but also highlight the need for consolidation of efforts among land management agencies to improve characterization of rangeland health. The biggest contributors to decreased rangeland health, chiefly invasive species, are factors associated with biotic integrity. Non-native species are present on 50 percent of non-Federal rangelands, often offsetting gains in rangeland health from improved management practices.

Scope / Scale: national; regional; state; (county in maps)

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr288.html

9. Recreation settings, opportunities and access, and scenic character

Understanding the carbon stocks in a forest can have long-term implications not only for that landscape but at larger scales. Many tools are in development to assist managers in undertaking such an assessment. Here are some current tools and resources for that purpose. The information here should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Recreation opportunity

An opportunity to participate in a specific recreation activity in a particular recreation setting to enjoy desired recreation experiences and other benefits that accrue. Recreation opportunities include non-motorized, motorized, developed, and dispersed recreation on land, water, and in the air.

Recreation setting

The social, managerial, and physical attributes of a place that, when combined, provide a distinct set of recreation opportunities. The Forest Service uses the recreation opportunity spectrum to define recreation settings and categorize them into six distinct classes: primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized, semi-primitive motorized, roaded natural, rural, and urban.

Sustainable recreation

The set of recreation settings and opportunities on the National Forest System that is ecologically, ecnomically, and socially sustainable for present and future generations.

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum

Applicability: This publication established the six different types of "recreational opportunities" as defined by the USFS and required to be used in the plan development phase of the planning rule. The web-based primer and field guide are more directly useful in determining the type of recreational opportunity for an area.

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Publication Number: PNW-GTR-98

Year: 1979

Summary: The end product of recreation management is a diverse range of opportunities from which people can derive various experiences. This paper offers a framework for managing recreation opportunities based on six physical, biological, social, and managerial factors that, when combined, can be utilized by recreationists to obtain diverse experiences.

Scope / Scale: Site-specific designation.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/cdt/carrying_capacity/rosfieldguide/ros_primer_and_field_guide.htm

Scenery Management System

Applicability: The Scenery Management System, which can be used to consider scenic character for both assessment and planning under the 2012 Planning Rule, is outlined in "Landscape Aesthetics: A Handbook for Scenery Management," Agriculture Handbook 701. Current Forest Service directive require its use. Its system develops scores for scenic character.

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Year: 1995

Summary: High quality scenery, especially scenery with natural-appearing landscapes, enhances people's lives and benefits society. The Scenery Management System presents a vocabulary for managing scenery and a systematic approach for determining the relative value and importance of scenery in a national forest. This handbook was written for national forest resource managers, landscape architects, and others interested in landscape aesthetics and scenery. Both students and the general public, our "constituents," will benefit from the straightforward approach of the system to a complex art and science. Ecosystems provides the environmental context for this scenery management system. The system is to be used in the context of ecosystem management to inventory and analyze scenery in a national forest, to assist in establishment of overall resource goals and objectives, to monitor the scenic resource, and to ensure high-quality scenery for future generations.

Scope / Scale: Site-specific designation.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5412126.pdf

NRM - National Visitor Use Monitoring

Applicability: This tool includes extensive data regarding recreational visitors to national forests and their perceptions based on their experience. It has clear, direct applicability to this portion of the assessment. You can work with your local Forest Service partner to view this resource.

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Summary: The master report is a compilation of the most useful NVUM reports (selected by the NVUM Program Manager) accompanied by forest- or region-specific analysis and background information. If you are unfamiliar with what the NVUM program can offer, this is a good place to start.

Scope / Scale: Forest-level data.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/nrm/index.shtml | http://fsweb.nrm.fs.fed.us

Connecting People with America's Great Outdoors: A Framework for Sustainable Recreation

Applicability: This document outlines the US Forest Service's Sustainable Recreation Framework. It outlines guiding principles that can help National Forests assess recreation on their lands and plan for it in relation to the agency's overall mission.

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Year: 2010

Summary: The growing challenge of sustaining outdoor recreation opportunities requires a clear national vision and a bold strategy to meet the environmental, social, and economic needs of present and future generations. We can no longer manage as we have in the past. Any course we choose cannot depend solely on appropriated funding to meet our constituents' needs. The strategy presented here will help us unite diverse interests, create and strengthen partnerships, focus scarce resources on mission-driven priorities, connect recreation benefits to communities, provide for changing urban populations, and most importantly, sustain and expand the benefits to America that quality recreation opportunities provide.

Scope / Scale: Visioning document.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5346549.pdf

Wildlife-associated recreation trends in the United States: A technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

Applicability: This part of the 2010 RPA Assessment includes conditions and trends regarding recreation specific to wildlife-associated activities. It includes data broken down by region and various demographic factors.

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Authors: Mockrin, Miranda H.; Aiken, Richard A.; Flather, Curtis H.

Publication Number: GTR-293

Year: 2012

Summary: The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA) of 1974 requires periodic assessments of the condition and trends of the Nation's renewable natural resources. In this report, we document recent and historical trends in hunting and wildlife watching to fulfill RPA requirements. Using data from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service's National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation we present historical trends back to 1955 as well as recent changes from the past 10 to 20 years to evaluate changes in recreation since the 2000 RPA Assessment. We report on several attributes of wildlife recreation, including number of participants, days participating, recreation on public and private land, and economic expenditures. We found that participation in wildlife-associated recreation continues to change, with fewer Americans taking part in hunting and wildlife watching over the past 20 years. Total days devoted to recreation have declined along with number of participants, but the annual expenditures per participant and days of recreation per participant have generally risen or remained stable. We discuss variation in participation among types of hunting and across RPA Regions of the United States. Documenting and understanding these changes in wildlife-associated recreation is essential to ensure the continued successful management of wildlife resources.

Scope / Scale: National, regional, and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42227

Recreation and Protected Land Resources in the United States: A Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

Applicability: This part of the 2010 RPA Assessment includes a collection of different papers related to land ownership, designated areas, and recreational use. Includes trends and geospatial information regarding recreation. Some data is mapped to the country level, but most information is either national or regional in scope. It can also be useful in assessment areas 14 and 15.

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Authors: H. Ken Cordell, Carter J. Betz, and Stanley J. Zarnoch

Publication Number: SRS-GTR-169

Year: 2013

Summary: This report provides an overview of the public and private land and water resources of the United States. Described is use of natural and developed land as recreation resources with an emphasis on nature-based recreation. Also described is land protection through conservation organizations and public funding programs, with an emphasis on protecting private land through funding for purchase or for conservation easements. Outdoor recreation resources include land, water, snow and ice, scenery, developed sites, facilities, and user services. Protected land resources range from farm lands to remote wilderness, but mostly are the undeveloped lands in the United States with various forms of protection status. The total U.S. land area is 2.43 billion acres, which contains 169 million acres of water, and consists of a diversity of land use and cover types. The United States loses about 2 million acres of forest, farm, and open space each year. In attempting to conserve such lands, land trusts and governments have instituted programs to obtain easements or purchase the land outright. The Federal Government holds in trust about 640 million acres of land (30 percent of the country's total land area). This includes national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other Federal agency ownerships. These lands, along with State and local government lands are important recreation resources serving the public interest. Private lands and recreation businesses are also important recreation resources. Projections to 2060 of per capita area of public and private land and water show a steady downward trend across all regions of the United States.

Scope / Scale: National, regional, and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42756

Outdoor Recreation participation in the United States Projections to 2060: A Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

Applicability: This part of the RPA Assessment gives forward-looking scenario-based projections of outdoor recreation by activity. It gives national trends based on an extensive synthesis of different demographic and climatic factors.

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Authors: J.M. Bowker, Ashley E. Askew, H. Ken Cordell, Carter J. Betz, Stanley J. Zarnoch, and Lynne Seymour

Publication Number: SRS-GTR-160

Year: 2012

Summary: We developed national projections through 2060 of participation for 17 outdoor recreation activities. The projections were made under futures that vary by population growth, socioeconomic conditions, land use changes, and climate. We used a two-step approach to project the number of participants and the days of participation. The estimation step yielded national-level statistical models of adult participation rate and days of participation by activity. The simulation step combined the models with external projections of explanatory variables at 10-year intervals to 2060. Per capita estimates for participation and days were then combined with population projections to derive estimates of participants and days of participation by activity. Results were derived across three 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment scenarios that each feature three associated climate futures. Findings indicated that outdoor recreation will remain a key part of the social and economic fabric of the United States. In the absence of climate change, the number of participants in the 17 recreation activities is projected to increase over the next 5 decades. In some cases, the participation rate will decline, but population growth will ensure that the number of participants increases. Some climate futures led to projected declines in participants, e.g., snowmobiling and undeveloped skiing showed declines in participant numbers up to 25 percent, despite population growth. Climate was also shown to have disparate effects on projections of annual days of participation, particularly for snowmobiling, undeveloped skiing, and hunting.

Scope / Scale: National trends.

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/40935

Outdoor Recreation Trends and Futures: A Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

Applicability: This collection of research papers regarding outdoor recreation trends covers a wide-range of topics, including demographic and regional variations in participation. As a part of the 2010 RPA Assessment, it includes current information, trends, and projections. It can be a useful source to pull specific details from in support of information in other parts of the RPA Assessment on outdoor recreation.

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Authors: H. Ken Cordell, ed.

Publication Number: SRS-GTR-150

Year: 2012

Summary: This publication presents a national study of outdoor recreation trends as part of the 2010 Renewable Resources Planning Act Assessment by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The objectives are to review past trends in outdoor recreation participation by Americans, to describe in detail current outdoor recreation participation patterns, and to compare patterns across regional and demographic strata. Further objectives include describing recreation activity participation on public and private lands and providing projections of outdoor recreation participation out to the year 2060. One overriding national trend is quite evident: the mix of outdoor activities chosen by Americans and the relative popularity of activities overall have been evolving over the last several decades. One general category of activity that has been showing growth in the first decade of the 21st century is nature-based recreation. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of people who participated in nature-based outdoor recreation grew by 7.1 percent and the number of activity days grew about 40 percent. Among types of nature-based recreation, motorized activities showed growth up to about 2005, but then ended up toward the end of the 2000-2009 decade at about the same level as in 2000. The trend in hunting, fishing, and backcountry activities remained relatively flat during this period. Various forms of skiing, including snowboarding, declined during this decade. The clear growth area was within the overall group of activities oriented toward viewing and photographing nature. Generally, outdoor recreation activities are projected to grow in number of participants out to 2060. Population growth is projected to be the primary driver of growth in number of adult participants under each Resources Planning Act Assessment scenario. The top five activities in terms of growth of number of participants are developed skiing, other skiing, challenge activities, equestrian activities, and motorized water activities. The lowest rates of participant growth are visiting primitive areas, motorized off-road activities, motorized snow activities, hunting, fishing, and floating water activities. At the same time, a number of activities are projected to decline in per-capita adult participation rates.

Scope / Scale: National, regional, and county level.

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/40453

10. Renewable and nonrenewable energy and mineral resources

National Forest System lands provide valuable habitat for a wide-range of species. These publications and tools provide information regarding individual species and their habitats. The information here should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Productivity

The capacity of the NFS lands and their ecological systems to provide the various renewable resources in certain amounts in perpetuity. For the purposes of this subpart, productivity is an ecological term, not an economic term.

USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries

Applicability: Includes geologic maps and datasets of several National Forests in the regions 1 through 4.

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Summary: The following topics are currently covered by the Mineral Commodity Summaries: domestic production and uses; U.S. salient statistics; recycling; import sources; tariff; depletion allowance; government stockpile; events, trends, and issues; world production, reserves, and reserve base; world resources; and substitutes.

Scope / Scale: Forest-specific reports.

Internet Address: http://geo-nsdi.er.usgs.gov/catalog/place.php?g=fLD10

USGS mineral resources online spatial data

Applicability: This resource includes site-specific mineral data. It can be accessed either through a web-based tool or through GIS. Users can also find locations of active mines or generate geologic data.

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Summary: Allows geographic searches to narrow down areas and then generate reports from a variety of USGS sources.

Scope / Scale: 8-digit HUC watersheds.

Internet Address: http://mrdata.usgs.gov/

BLM Oil and Gas

Applicability: This resource includes Excel data with oil and gas leases on federal lands.

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Summary: The BLM compiles a large amount of statistical information relating to oil and gas leasing on Federal lands. Below are links to tables and spreadsheets with data that include the numbers of BLM-administered oil and gas leases, applications for permit to drill, and oil and gas wells. Most of the statistics on this page cover Fiscal Years 1988-2012. The data begin in 1988 because that was the first year the BLM began to issue leases under the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act. Tables 12 and 13 cover different timeframes.

Scope / Scale: Specific to federal lands.

Internet Address: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/statistics.html

BLM Coal Lease data

Applicability: This resource includes a basic table with coal leases, acres, and sales by state.

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Summary: This table provides information about the number of total leases in effect, total acres under lease, and the number of lease sales at the end of each fiscal year since 1990. Acreage totals may vary slightly because rounding is used.

Scope / Scale: State level.

Internet Address: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/coal_and_non-energy/coal_lease_table.html

Department of Energy Renewable Energy Resource Maps

Applicability: This resource, on renewable energy, provides data from the Department of Energy including GIS layers for biomass, geothermal, solar, wind, and hydrogen hotspots and resources.

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Summary: The Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) compiled the renewable energy resource maps.

Scope / Scale: Variable scale in a spatial, GIS tool. Can generate data at a county level.

Internet Address: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/technologies/renewable_resourcemaps.html

11. Infrastructure such as recreational facilities and transportation and utility corridors

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The multiple-use landscape of the National Forest System often requires infrastructure to provide access to resources. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding infrastructure. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Infra

Applicability: This tool is part of the Natural Resource Manager suite. It includes comprehensive infrastructure information. You can work with your local Forest Service partner to view this resource.

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Summary: Gives information regarding trails, roads, recreation facilities, dams, etc.

Scope / Scale: Variable depending on report generated.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/nrm/index.shtml | httpp://fsweb.nrm.fs.fed.us

12. Areas of tribal importance

Many units of the National Forest System include areas of tribal importance. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding areas of tribal importance. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Federally recognized Indian Tribe

An Indian or Alaska Native Tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian Tribe under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994.

Native knowledge

A way of knowing or understanding the world, including traditional ecological and social knowledge of the environment derived from multiple generations of indigenous peoples' interacts, observations, and experiences with their ecological systems. Native knowledge is place-based and culture-based knowledge in which people learn to live ina nd adapt to their own environment through interactions, observations, and experiences with their ecological system. This knowledge is generally not solely gained, develope by, or retained by individuals, but is rather accumulated over successive generations and is expressed through oral traditions, ceremonies, stories, dances, songs, art, and other means within a cultural context.

Tribal consultation

A formal government-to-government process that enables Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to provide meaningful timely input and, as appropriate, exchange views, information, and recommendations on Forest Service proposed policies or actions that may affect their rights or interests prior to a decision. Consultation is a unique form of communication characterized by trust and respect (FSM 1509.05).

Action Plan to Implement the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indian Sacred Sites

Applicability: This document is an interagency memorandum of understanding regarding protection of tribal sites and coordination. It gives guidance regarding the overarching policy direction in this sphere

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Year: 2013

Summary: On December 5, 2012, the Departments of Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (participating agencies) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Interagency Coordination and Collaboration for the Protection of Indian Sacred Sites (MOU) to improve the protection of and tribal access to Indian sacred sites through enhanced and improved interdepartmental coordination and collaboration. The MOU is based on the requirements of Executive Order 13007, Indian Sacred Sites.

Scope / Scale: National policy document.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/documents/sacredsites/SacredSitesMOU_Dec2012.pdf

USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites

Applicability: This report draws from a series of listening sessions as well as the USFS history of protecting areas of tribal importance. It gives recommendations regarding how managers can coordinate with tribes. It also outlines different agreements regarding management.

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Year: 2012

Summary: This report and its appendices constitute a review of law, policy, and procedures, with recommendations for changes based on Tribal consultation and public comments. This report reflects an interpretation of some of the voices of AI/AN people as requested by Secretary Vilsack. It provides the Secretary with information about how USDA and the Forest Service are protecting AI/AN sacred sites on National Forest System (NFS) lands and how USDA and the Forest Service might improve the manner in which sacred sites are protected. This report does not, by itself, change policy or have any effects, significant or otherwise, on the human or natural environment and does not constitute final agency action. In developing this report, the Government neither required nor requested that Tribes provide specific information about the nature and location of their sacred sites, nor were AI/AN people asked to reveal the beliefs and practices associated with these sites.

Scope / Scale: National policy document.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/documents/sacredsites/SacredSitesFinalReportDec2012.pdf

Fulfilling the Promise of The Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004: An Analysis by the Intertribal Timber Council In Collaboration with USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs

Applicability: This analysis gives insight into the Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 and how it is can be utilized. It includes both observations and recommendations for management.

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Year: 2013

Summary: Under the TFPA, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior are authorized to enter into agreements or contracts, pursuant to tribal proposals to address hazardous conditions on Forest Service (FS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands that border on or are adjacent to tribal trust lands or resources. (This report focuses on implementation of the TFPA by the FS and Tribes and does not include BLM.) Information on the number of tribal TFPA proposals that were submitted, withdrawn, or rejected during the eight years since enactment of the TFPA was unavailable. The FS identified eleven proposals that were accepted by the FS. Of those only six projects have been successfully implemented, encompassing less than 20,000 acres of forest lands out of the 193 million acres of forests and grasslands administered by the FS. The promise of the TFPA remains unfulfilled. To better understand why the TFPA has not been extensively employed, the Washington Office of the FS entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the Intertribal Timber Council (ITC) to identify impediments to the use of TFPA and to develop recommendations to improve its implementation. The study was undertaken by the ITC in collaboration with the FS and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) through the use of surveys, interviews and site visits to Indian reservations and National Forests.

Scope / Scale: National policy document.

Internet Address: http://www.itcnet.org/issues_projects/issues_2/tfpa/tfpareports.html

US Forest Service Tribal Relations Program Report

Applicability: This report gives information regarding both the national status of tribal relations with the Forest Service and also some information on a regional basis. It discusses consultation and highlights select accomplishments.

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Year: 2011

Summary: The Tribal Relations Program facilitates a Forest Service culture that:

  • Recognizes the inherent sovereign status and reserved rights of Indian Tribes.
  • Honors the federal trust responsibility.
  • Excels at conducting substantive consultative processes.
  • Supports tribal rights to pursue the vitality of their cultures, economies, and land.
  • Promotes collaborative natural and cultural resource management.
  • Uses traditional ecological knowledge in combination with the best Western science and technology.
  • Advances American Indians and Alaska Natives in the workforce.
  • Respects tribal connections to traditional landscapes.
  • Seeks to enhance and maintain important relationships with Indian Tribes and communities.

In fulfilling its mission, the Tribal Relations Program (TRP) seeks to achieve a vision of the Forest Service (FS) as a recognized leader among federal land management agencies in partnering appropriately and collaboratively with Indian Tribes for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Scope / Scale: National and regional information.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/tribalrelations/documents/reports/TribalRelationsProgramReportFY2011.pdf

13. Cultural and historic resources and uses

Much of the history of our country can be discovered through the resources and uses on public lands. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding cultural and historic resources and uses. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

National Register of Historic Places

Applicability: The most useful resource on this website is a searchable database that includes information on National Register of Historic Places sites. Users can search down to the county or city level, but not by National Forest. Google Earth layers with the sites are in development.

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Summary: The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

Scope / Scale: Site-specific, searchable by county or city.

Internet Address: http://www.nps.gov/nr/

Infra

Applicability: This tool includes information on heritage sites. You can work with your local Forest Service partner to view this resource.

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Summary: Part of the Natural Resource Manager (NRM) suite.

Scope / Scale: Site-specific.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/nrm/index.shtml | http://fsweb.nrm.fs.fed.us

The National Forest System: Cultural Resources At Risk An Assessment and Needs Analysis

Applicability: This report is referenced on the USFS Heritage program website. It includes management recommendations and some general regional information as a general, national overview on protecting heritage sites.

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Author: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Summary: With responsibility for 193 million acres of public land that contain an estimated two million cultural resource sites, including 27 National Historic Landmarks (NHLs), it is appropriate to ask if the Forest Service is committed to and capable of fully carrying out its stewardship duties under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The Forest Service Strategic Plan for FY 2004-08 makes only one passing reference to cultural resources under its care, noting that "the fastest growing projected outdoor recreation activities are visiting historic places. . . ."3 While the Forest Service has identified nearly 325,000 cultural resource sites within the System, the agency lacks the will, statutory guidance, and funding to adequately care for these known sites and to identify and evaluate the remaining 80 percent of Forest Service lands that have not been surveyed for cultural resources. Similar to the threats facing other public lands, cultural resources are threatened by insufficient funding, too few staff, lack of political will on the part of senior agency officials, vandalism, fire, theft, damage caused by some types of recreation, oil and gas extraction, mining, timber harvesting, and grazing.

Year: 2008

Scope / Scale: National overview.

Internet Address: http://www.preservationnation.org/information-center/saving-a-place/public-lands/resources/NTHP-Forest-Service-Report-2008-web.pdf

14. Land status and ownership, use, and access patterns

In order to engage in landscape-scale management, planners must understand the complex relationships of land status, ownership, use, and access. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding land status. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Landscape

A defined area irrespective of ownership or other artificial boundaries, such as a spatial mosaic of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, landforms, and plant communities, repeated in similar form throughout such a defined area.

Spatial Patterns of Land Cover in the United States: A Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

Applicability: This part of the 2010 RPA Assessment provides land use and land cover data for national and regional scales. County data is given visually in the included national maps.

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Author: Kurt H. Riitters

Publication Number: SRS-GTR-136

Year: 2011

Summary: Land cover patterns inventoried from a national land cover map provide information about the landscape context and fragmentation of the Nation's forests, grasslands, and shrublands. This inventory is required to quantify, map, and evaluate the capacities of landscapes to provide ecological goods and services sustainably. This report documents the procedures to inventory and summarize land cover composition, juxtaposition, and structure as exhibited at several measurement scales. National and regional results are summarized in tabular form, and representative statistics are illustrated in figures (for States) and maps (for counties). The baseline information in this inventory is a starting point for future analyses of landscape changes.

Scope / Scale: National and regional information and trends, with county data visually represented.

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/37766

Wildfire, wildlands, and people: understanding and preparing for wildfire in the wildland-urban interface a Forests on the Edge report

Applicability: This publication looks at ownership from the context of WUI and fire-adapted communities. It includes national maps of fire regimes and the WUI, and discusses changes in land ownership and increases in housing density near forests. It also includes information regarding education and outreach.

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Authors: Stein, S.M.; Menakis, J.; Carr, M.A.; Comas, S.J.; Stewart, S.I.; Cleveland, H.; Bramwell, L.; Radeloff, V.C.

Publication Number: GTR-299

Year: 2013

Summary: Fire has historically played a fundamental ecological role in many of America's wildland areas. However, the rising number of homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), associated impacts on lives and property from wildfire, and escalating costs of wildfire management have led to an urgent need for communities to become "fire-adapted." We present maps of the conterminous United States that illustrate historical natural fire regimes, the wildland-urban interface, and the number and location of structures burned since 1999. We outline a sampler of actions, programs, and community planning and development options to help decrease the risks of and damages from wildfire.

Scope / Scale: National scope, including information regarding communication with stakeholders.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr299.html

Economic Profile System - Human Dimensions Toolkit

Applicability: Developed by Headwaters Economics and approved for agency use, this tool generates 14 different reports which give useable data regarding economic conditions and trends. It does not take much time to learn how to use, which is a plus. Reports can be done at the county level, including combining multiple counties, which makes it applicable at the planning scale. One report includes land ownership status and cover. The USFS site for it has a presentation on how to use it as part of the planning rule assessment

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Summary: EPS-HDT (Economic Profile System - Human Dimensions Toolkit) is a free, easy-to-use software application that runs as an Excel Add-in from your desktop, and produces detailed socioeconomic reports of counties, states, and regions, including custom aggregations. For more information on specific socioeconomic reports and how to install follow the link above. EPS-HDT uses published statistics from federal data sources, including the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Bureau of Labor Statisitics, U.S. Department of Labor; and others. The databases are updated every year so that EPS-HDT uses the latest published statistics.

Scope / Scale: Reports can be generated at county, state, and regional scales.

Internet Address: http://headwaterseconomics.org/tools/eps-hdt | http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/em/HD/eps_hdt.htm

Family Forest Owners of the United States, 2006

Applicability: This publication includes extensive data and maps at the state level which can be downloaded in a zip file. It is useful in analyzing land ownership and use for forests not on USFS lands.

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Authors: Butler, Brett J.

Publication Number: NRS-GTR-27

Year: 2008

Summary: This report summarizes results from the U.S. Forest Service's National Woodland Owner Survey of the estimated 10 million family forest owners who own 264 million acres (35 percent) of forest land in the United States. We collected information between 2002 and 2006 on family forest owners' forest holding characteristics, ownership histories, ownership objectives, forest uses, forest management practices, preferred methods for receiving information, concerns, future intentions, and demographics. National, regional, and state summary tables are included.

Scope / Scale: State level data and maps

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/15758

Forecasts of county-level land uses under three future scenarios: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

Applicability: This part of the 2010 RPA Assessment gives scenario-based projections that are useful as planning tools. It looks not just at current conditions but also future projections at a county level.

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Authors: Wear, David N.

Publication Number: SRS-GTR-141

Year: 2011

Summary: Accurately forecasting future forest conditions and the implications for ecosystem services depends on understanding land use dynamics. In support of the 2010 Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment, we forecast changes in land uses for the coterminous United States in response to three scenarios. Our land use models forecast urbanization in response to the population and economic projections defined by the scenarios and consequences for various rural land uses. Urban area is forecasted to expand by 1 to 1.4 million acres per year between 1997 and 2060. Forest area is forecasted to decline by 24 to 37 million acres and cropland is forecasted to decline by 19 to 28 million acres over this period. About 90 percent of forecasted forest land losses are found in the Eastern United States with more than half in the South.

Scope / Scale: County level, along with national and regional trends.

Internet Address: http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/39404

2010 RPA Land-use data

Applicability: Land-use data at the county level supporting SRS-GTR-141.

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Year: 2010

Summary: County-level data from the RPA in Excel format.

Scope / Scale: County level, along with national and regional trends.

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/research/docs/rpa/2010/2010RPA_Assessment_landuse%20projections_county_final.xlsx

15. Existing designated areas located in the plan area including wilderness and wild and scenic rivers and potential need and opportunity for additional designated areas

Designated areas preserve wilderness character on our public lands and serve other valuable purposes. This portion of the assessment will both take stock of existing designated areas and consider the potential for new ones. These publications and tools include valuable information regarding designated areas including wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers. They can be used as a starting point in planning assessment, and should be supplemented by information specific to the individual planning unit.

Except where noted, definitions are taken from §219.19 "Definitions" of the 2012 Planning Rule.

Designated area

An area or feature identified and managed to maintain its unique special character or purpose. Some categories of designated areas may be designated only by statute and some categories may be established administratively in the land management planning process or by other administrative processes of the Federal executive branch. Examples of statutorily designated areas are national heritage areas, national recreational areas, national scenic trails, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness areas, and wilderness study areas. Examples of administratively designated areas are experimental forests, research natural areas, scenic byways, botanical areas, and significant caves.

Applying the concept of wilderness character to national forest planning, monitoring, and management

Applicability: This publication gives descriptions and explanations of different aspects of wilderness character which could be of use in discussing "potential need and opportunity for additional designated areas." It outlines a framework of wilderness quality, indicator selection, and example measures, which could be used at the assessment stage. The planning and management portions could also be of use at later stages.

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Authors: Landres, Peter; Hennessy, Mary Beth; Schlenker, Kimberly; Cole, David N.; Boutcher, Steve.

Publication Number: GTR-217

Year: 2008

Summary: The U.S. Forest Service is responsible for managing over 35 million acres of designated wilderness, about 18 percent of all the land managed by the agency. Nearly all (90 percent) of the National Forests and Grasslands administer designated wilderness. Although the central mandate from the 1964 Wilderness Act is that the administering agencies preserve the wilderness character in these designated areas, the concept of wilderness character has largely been absent in Forest Service efforts to manage wilderness. The purpose of this document is to help National Forest planners, wilderness staff, and project leaders apply in a practical way the concept of wilderness character to forest and project planning, the National Environmental Policy Act process, on-the-ground wilderness management, and wilderness character trend monitoring that is relevant to an individual wilderness.

Scope / Scale: Wilderness Areas

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr217.html

Keeping it wild: an interagency strategy to monitor trends in wilderness character across the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Applicability: This document designs a monitoring strategy for wilderness areas. In many ways it serves as a foundation and companion for GTR-217.

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Authors: Landres, Peter; Barns, Chris; Dennis, John G.; Devine, Tim; Geissler, Paul; McCasland, Curtis S.; Merigliano, Linda; Seastrand, Justin; Swain, Ralph.

Publication Number: GTR-212

Year: 2008

Summary: The Interagency Wilderness Character Monitoring Team—representing the Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Land Management, DOI Fish and Wildlife Service, DOI National Park Service, DOI U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Forest Service—offers in this document an interagency strategy to monitor trends in wilderness character across the National Wilderness Preservation System. The overall strategy is for each wilderness to: 1) choose a set of measures from those provided in this document that are relevant, cost-effective, and tied to preserving wilderness character, 2) periodically collect data to assess trend in these measures, and 3) use these trends to assess and report on the trend in wilderness character. Each agency would then compile these trends from each wilderness to assess broad scale agency performance in preserving wilderness character. Similarly, data from each agency would be compiled to assess performance in preserving wilderness character across the National Wilderness Preservation System. This interagency monitoring strategy provides a solid foundation to tie wilderness stewardship to the legislative direction of the Wilderness Act and agency policies to preserve wilderness character.

Scope / Scale: Wilderness Areas

Internet Address: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr212.html

Wilderness.net

Applicability: This interagency resource, developed with the University of Montana, provides data, maps, and descriptions of existing wilderness areas.

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Summary: Wilderness.net is a website formed in 1996 through a collaborative partnership between the College of Forestry and Conservation's Wilderness Institute at The University of Montana, the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. The latter two partners are the wilderness training and research arms of the Federal government, respectively. The program is overseen by a working group and steering committee.

Scope / Scale: Wilderness Areas

Internet Address: http://www.wilderness.net

Rivers.gov

Applicability: Users of this site can search for designated rivers by state. It also includes a GIS map of the whole wild and scenic river system system. It also has explanatory documents about how these rivers are designated and managed.

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Summary: Rivers in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System capture the essence of all waterways that surge, ramble, gush, wander and weave through our country. From the remote rivers of Alaska, Idaho and Oregon to rivers threading through the rural countryside of New Hampshire, Ohio and Massachusetts, each preserves a part of the American story and heritage. As of April 2012, the National System protects 12,598 miles of 203 rivers in 39 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; this is a little more than one-quarter of one percent of the nation's rivers. By comparison, more than 75,000 large dams across the country have modified at least 600,000 miles, or about 17%, of American rivers

Scope / Scale: Wild & Scenic Rivers.

Internet Address: http://www.rivers.gov