The development of forest policies to sustain
biological diversity while providing for other social and
economic values of forests and watersheds is a major challenge
for policy makers and managers. In the Pacific Northwest,
conflicts over balancing ecological, economic, and social
demands on forests paralyzed forest management on federal
lands during the late 1980s and early 1990s and introduced
considerable uncertainly in management on private lands. These
controversies have led to major new forest polices in the
region for Federal and State lands and considerable modification
of forest polices for private forest lands. In Oregon's Coast
Range, separate new polices for federal, state, and private
lands have been initiated in the last few years. The Northwest
Forest Plan for federal forests has brought sweeping changes
to forest management on these lands and have reduced timber
sales there by almost 90 percent compared to the 1980s. The
new Forest Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan for the Elliott
State Forest significantly refocused management of that forest
and the soon-to-be-completed Forest Plans for Northwest State
Forests will undoubtedly do likewise. Recent changes to riparian
policies for private lands have also been made. In addition,
the listing of salmon stocks on the Oregon coast has cast
a new federal regulatory blanket over forest management of
Although these policies are based on the most
current scientific information, it is uncertain how well they
will meet their individual goals over time and space. It is
even less clear if there are any ecological or economic interactions
among them in this policy-diverse region. Our conceptual and
quantitative scientific models are presently inadequate to
distinguish among different policy approaches in a rigorous
way. For example, we are currently unable to quantitatively
project the effects of different policies on aquatic and terrestrial
habitat and socio-economic outputs across an entire multi-ownership
province or region. Without more rigorously developed conceptual
and analytical models, it will not be possible to evaluate
the potential for cumulative impacts of these different policies
on ecological and socio-economic values over large landscapes
as a whole (e.g., provinces or regions) and long time frames
In response to these issues a group of scientists
lead by Tom Spies and Norm Johnson developed a research proposal
in 1993 to study the effects of forest policies on ecological
and socio-economic aspects of the Oregon Coast Range Province.
This project, titled the Coastal Landscape Analysis and Modeling
Study (CLAMS), which was initially funded through the COPE
program, began detailed planning in 1994 and has been developing
data bases, and prototypes since 1996 when it was fully funded
through the PNW Research Station, Oregon State University
and other sponsors.
Goal of CLAMS
The goals of the study are to develop and
evaluate concepts and tools to understand pattern and dynamics
of provincial ecosystems such as the Coast Range and to analyze
the aggregate ecological and socio-economic consequences of
different forest policies and strategies across multiple ownerships
of the province.
The study area is the
Oregon Coast Range Physiographic Province, which contains
all of the Coast Range hydrological province and part of the
Willamette hydrological province. Our approach is based on
the assumption that by knowing landscape structure and dynamics
of vegetation we can project consequences of different forest
policies on ecological outputs such as biological diversity
and socio-economic outputs, such as employment and recreational
opportunities. The major steps in our approach are:
- Build high resolution
spatial models (grain size of 0.1 to 10 ha) of current biophysical
conditions (e.g. vegetation, ownership patterns, topography,
streams) across all ownerships using Landsat TM satellite
imagery, forest inventory plots, and other GIS layers.
- Conduct surveys and
interviews of forest landowners to determine their expected
management intentions (e.g. rotation ages, thinning regimes,
riparian management intensity) under current policies and
develop spatial land use change models based on retrospective
- Simulate expected
successional changes in forest structure and composition
under different management regimes using ORGANON and ZELIG
stand dynamics models.
- Build a landscape
change simulation system based on forest management intentions
and forest stand models to project future landscape structure
for 100-200 years.
- Develop habitat suitability
models for selected terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate species,
coarse filter measures of community and landscape conditions,
historical range of natural variation of forest successional
stages, and landslide and debris flow potential, and geomorphic
- Develop socio-economic
response models for measures of employment and income by
economic sector, timber value and production using IMPLAN;
develop recreational opportunity spectrum models, and contingent
value of biological diversity to the public.
- Build landuse change
models that are based on historical FIA data and driven
by estimates of population change.
- Estimate ecological
and socio-economic consequences of current forest policies
using the landscape simulator and the various response models.
- Include outside influences
such as effects of population growth on land use change.
- Evaluate, test, and
revise overall simulator system and sub-models.
- Provide policy makers,
landowners, and the public with results of spatial projections
of consequences and interact with them to help inform debate
and facilitate collaborative learning.
Current policies and
alternative policies will be simulated for all ownerships.
Our approach to selecting alternative policies is to consult
with agencies and landowners, especially the Oregon Department
of Forestry's Policy Advisory Group for the State's Forestry
Program for Oregon. Based on input from these groups and assessment
of our capabilities, we have chosen several alternatives to
examine that deal with private lands. We plan to consult with
Federal and State managers to determine what policy alternatives,
if any, they might be interested in us examining. For example,
we could simulate a no cutting of old-growth policy on federal
We will develop a conceptual
framework for evaluating fundamental approaches to forest
management. These will be based on our historical analysis
and consider three primary strategy/goals for forest management.
For each strategy we will develop a new approach that moves
management toward and approximation of natural disturbance
regimes. The degree of movement toward characteristics of
natural disturbance regimes will depend on the goals of the
strategy. We will lay these out in the Coast Range under the
current ownership pattern and in a case where ownership boundaries
are not considered. For each case we will evaluate ecological
and timber outputs.
The CLAMS approach is
integrated through a linked set of data bases and simulation
models (Figure 1).
Conceptually, the ecological and socio-economic dimensions
of the project are integrated through quantitative, spatial
characterizations of the landscape at various scales. Linkages
to policies will be made in the policy model after consultation
with various landowners and policy makers to determine the
kind of policies and practices that they would like to see
model be capable of simulating. Additional integration will
occur within and across disciplines in the various scientific
models that are developed. For example, upland and aquatic
ecosystems will be linked through spatial simulation models
that grow trees in the uplands and deliver them to the stream
through mortality agents and geomorphic disturbances. Connections
between measures of biological diversity and social systems
will be made through existence valuation surveys of people
to determine what they would be willing to pay for various
levels of biological diversity. Not all components of the
project feed directly into the policy analysis model (Figure
1). Some activities result in scientific insights into
specific problems that are then translated into the project
through synthesis papers.
Relevance to Forest Policy Issues
CLAMS is relevant to
a number of policy issues including the Northwest Forest Plan,
the Forestry Plan for Oregon and the Governor's Salmon Initiative.
The project will provide broad-scale insights into the potential
effects of these and other policies. It is not intended as
a tactical planning tool at this time but more as a way of
getting a multi-ownership perspective on forest management
effects across broad landscapes. In particular it will provide
information about the following issues:
- Approaches for an
integrated ecosystem basis for province and multi-province
level planning among multiple landowners.
- Indicators and tools
for monitoring biological diversity at broad scales.
- Feasibility of using
selected Criterion and Indicators Conservation of Biological
Diversity (Montreal Process) at province scale.