USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service


Research Programs > Goods, Services, and Values Program > Communities and Forest Management Team

Communities and Forest Management Team


The Communities and Forest Management team undertakes research to understand how people interact with the natural environment; the social, cultural, economic, and institutional variables that influence these interactions; and how these interactions affect forests, markets, and communities. Our research guides decision-making about natural resource management. We draw on the diverse skills and approaches of our team members—scientists from the fields of anthropology, sociology, economics, silviculture, and forest products—to explore social and biophysical questions, and use both quantitative and qualitative methods to address complex natural resource problems.


Topics of Research

[Photograph]: People use the forests for many activities, these people are taking photographs of the trees and plants.We study:

1. How people use and manage forest resources across ownerships and the wildland-urban continuum, and how this behavior affects forest conditions, the associated social benefits, and resulting social perceptions.
2. The social, cultural, economic, and institutional influences on peoples’ forest use and management practices.
3. How people perceive, respond, and adapt to environmental threats, including fire, climate change, and invasive species, among others.
4. Forest management programs and policies, including landowner and community considerations in their development, and their effects on landowners, communities, and ecosystem services.
5. Institutions for forest management and how to increase their effectiveness in providing desired social and environmental benefits.
6. Biomass utilization strategies, value-added wood products, and markets to support sustainable forest management.

Current Research

Team Members:

Susan Charnley, Team Leader

I am an environmental anthropologist whose research aims to improve understanding of how to integrate community well-being and development with ecosystem health and the sustainable management of natural resources, so that this understanding can be used to inform policy, advance theory, and increase knowledge. My research falls into three broad areas: socioeconomic monitoring and assessment; how to sustain rural, resource-based livelihoods; and community-based natural resource management. I work mainly in the western United States.

Portland Forestry Sciences Laboratory
620 SW Main, Suite 400
P.O. Box 3890
Portland, OR 97208-3890
Phone: (503) 808-2051


Susan Hummel, Research Forester

I am a research forester who works to link landscape ecology with silvicultural practices by estimating forest structural and compositional metrics at various spatial scales and in response to different natural and human disturbances.

Portland Forestry Sciences Laboratory
620 SW Main, Suite 400
P.O. Box 3890
Portland, OR 97208-3890
Phone: (503) 808-2084


Jeffrey Kline, Research Forester

Jeff Kline is a research forester with the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Oregon. He has worked with forestry and land use issues for 20 years with nonprofit, state, and federal agencies and organizations. His current research examines the effects of population growth and land use change on forests and their management, as well as related changes in how the public uses and values forests.

Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: (541) 758-7776


Linda Kruger, Research Social Scientist
Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory
11305 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99801-8545
Phone: (907) 586-7814

As an Alaska-based social scientist, I study social aspects at the interface where people and natural resources meet. My research focuses on three topics: recreation and volunteerism, particularly the health and other benefits of spending time in nature; community resilience in a context of social, cultural, economic, and biophysical change, including but not limited to effects of climate change and community response; and collaboration and partnerships, including challenges, benefits and innovative approaches. Recent work includes a scientific paper describing how to work across scales to integrate recreation management with management of other resources; an analysis of the effects of the Northwest Forest Plan on recreation; and work with tribal elders and youth to document traditional harvest and use of forest products. Current work focuses on and raising awareness of the importance of spending time in nature by building a community of practice around health and nature, and by producing fact sheets, posters, and other materials for use at health fairs and other community events.


Eini Lowell, Research Forest Products Technologist

As a Research Forest Products Technologist, I conduct a variety of research related to forest management activities and their effect on wood products. This includes addressing topics such as wood quality of forest plantations, value added opportunities for biomass (small-diameter timber, fire- or insect-damaged or killed or trees, and logging slash), hardwood utilization, and deterioration rates of fire- and insect-damaged or killed trees. Much of my current work focuses on integration of product markets, specifically at the rural community level, to improve economies of scale and foster forest health restoration and fire risk reduction treatments. Matching resource characteristics to appropriate end uses and identifying utilization opportunities, can provide sustainability of our forest resource while increasing resiliency for the people, communities, and businesses dependent upon it. Projects are throughout the western United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Portland Forestry Sciences Laboratory
620 SW Main, Suite 400
P.O. Box 3890
Portland, OR 97208-3890
Phone: (503) 808-2072




Charnley, S.; Donoghue, Moseley, C. 2008 Forest management policy and community well-being in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Forestry. Dec.

Charnley, S.; McLain, R.J.; Donoghue, E.M. 2008. Forest management policy, amenity migration, and community well-being in the American West: Reflections from the Northwest Forest Plan. Human Ecology. 36(5).

Donoghue, E.M. and V.S. Sturtevant, eds. 2008. Forest Community Connections: Implications for Research, Management, and Governance. Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future.

Donoghue, E.M.; Thompson, S.A.; Bliss, J.C. In press. Tribal--Federal Collaboration in Resource Management. Journal of Ecological Anthropology.

Fischer, A.P. and J.C. Bliss. In press. Framing conservation on private lands: Conserving oak in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Society and Natural Resources.


More Publications >>


Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA)

Eini Lowell, Communities and Forest Management Team Leader at the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland, Oregon is participating in a 5-year, $40 million research and outreach project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The project is one of the largest ever funded by USDA. Washington State University is the lead institution on the project. The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) project is focused on developing a biofuels industry in the Northwest. The specific emphasis is the use of biomass for jet fuel. Eini’s role, as the Extension and Outreach representative for the USDA Forest Service, will be to disseminate information about the project as it progresses through workshops, conferences, and client/stakeholder meetings, and to help identify potential "NARA communities" (communities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana with good potential for locating a new biofuel or supporting industry processing facility). She will coordinate dialogue between research teams, communities, and other stakeholders.


More information at: //


Registering to connect with NARA may be found at:

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,13December2016 at09:14:21CST

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