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Linking Tools of Forest and Wildlife Managers: Wildlife Habitat Evaluation using the Landscape Management System1

By Kevin R. Ceder and John M. Marzluff2


Natural resource managers are increasingly being asked to consider values outside their fields. This is especially evident with regards to wildlife habitat changes caused by forest management activities. Forest managers are being asked to balance both wildlife habitat and forest product outputs from the forest.

Our approach of implementing a Habitat Evaluation Procedure as a module of the Landscape Management System is an example of how forest growth and yield models can be integrated with existing wildlife models to expand the forest manager's tool set. The Landscape Management System uses the Forest Vegetation Simulator to simulate forest growth and changes caused by silvicultural activities on the Satsop Forest ownership, located in southwest Washington State. The Habitat Evaluation Procedure module then calculates Habitat Suitability Indexes and Habitat Units for Cooper's hawk (Accipiter Cooperii), pileated woodpecker (Drycopus pileatus), southern red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi), and spotted towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) from the resulting projected forest inventories.

The result is a tool that allows forest managers to assess changes in wildlife habitat caused by potential forest management at the stand and ownership levels. Since the Landscape Management System produces summaries of a variety of forest outputs, both tabular and visual, the results can then be used in analyses of existing and proposed forest management plans. On a stand-by-stand basis, multiple silvicultural pathways can be tested to assess which pathways meet varying desired habitat and forest product outputs. Through the use of stand and ownership level simulations and analyses of multiple target outputs forest managers and decision makers are able to better understand output tradeoffs at the landscape and watershed levels.

1 In: Crookston, Nicholas L.; Havis, Robert N. comps. 2002. Second Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) Conference; February 12-14, 2002, Fort Collins, CO. Proceedings RMRS-P-000. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

2 Authors: K. R. Ceder is a Forest Technology Specialist, Rural Technology Initiative and J. M. Marzluff is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Science, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195

Here are the poster and presentation that coincide with this abstract:

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
USDA Forest Service State & Private Forestry
WSU Cooperative Extension
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Last Updated 10/13/2022 12:34:14 PM