Management of forest ecosystems balances numerous ecological and social values. RESOLVE’s forest management projects are designed to support landowners and managers, and to help all stake-holders engage in cooperative planning processes. Technical information (on e.g. fire risk, economic return) is one part of this equation: the RESOLVE science programs help partners both to develop the information they need and then to jointly prepare or negotiate forest plans. A unique strength of RESOLVE’s in-house scientific capability is our skill in both the technical aspects of forest management and in guiding participants to a successful conclusion to planning
Forests are governed by different national, state, provincial and local laws and policies, depending on ownership, and ecosystem characteristics. In the USA, the National Forest Management Act governs most federal forests, and sets scientific and other goals. The newly proposed (2012) Forest Planning Rules also require extensive public involvement in planning, including technically challenging issues such as monitoring.
RESOLVE’s strong reputation for fairness and impartiality has allowed our staff to play key roles in:
- Facilitating public involvement in forest planning for several national forest plans
- Designing and implementing research and monitoring programs
- Deciding what constitutes ‘best available science’ for National Forest Management Act and Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act decisions
- Providing independent scientific analyses, including of the 2012 Forest Planning Rule
Significant achievements of RESOLVE staff have included:
- Negotiating a multi-partner agreement, protecting 40,000 acres of old-growth Redwood, with payments to the landowner.
- Developing a novel approach to management of wildlife and fire in forests of the eastern Cascades, breaking an impasse of 20 years of disputes.
- Facilitating a new silvicultural approach to management of Redwood forests, so as to maximize wildlife value.
- Designing and Implementing the DEMO (Demonstration of Ecosystem Management Options) experiments on National Forest lands.
- Managing and facilitating a forest collaborative in New Brunswick, Canada, working to develop a forest management plan that is scientifically sound, and takes economic and sustainability considerations.
- Supporting the activities of a North American dialogue on addressing the threat of non-native forest insects and diseases to the continent’s forests through education and outreach, policy and advocacy, and scientific research.
- Facilitating a scientific peer review of the USFS draft EIS for the Forest Planning Rule.
In addition, RESOLVE’s Science Advisory Board has strong expertise in many NFMA related issues, including biodiversity and ecosystem services. Our Science Review Panels, with more than a 1, 000 scientists are a unique resource allowing us to address almost any issue pertinent to forest planning
Selected RESOLVE forestry projects
Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases
RESOLVE provides secretariat services to a collaborative dialogue on how to protect North American forests from the threat of non-native insects and diseases. The group specifically works on ways to stop the introduction of these pests, to slow the spread within the continent, and on eradication through policy and regulation, education and outreach, and research. The Dialogue provides a forum for diverse actors working on this issue to come together to share lessons learned, new science, and success stories. More information and Dialogue products are available at the Dialogue website.
USFS Draft EIS Peer Review
The USFS asked RESOLVE to conduct a peer review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement of the new Forest Planning Rule. RESOLVE convened a science review panel, made up of 7 members who were geographically diverse and were experts in their different disciplines. RESOLVE facilitated the peer review in a 30-day period. The panel report is available online.
The Forest Collaborative
In 2008, RESOLVE was asked to convene and facilitate a collaborative project between a forestry company and provincial environmental NGO’s to develop consensus recommendations and projects to improve forest economic, community, and environmental sustainability. The Collaborative developed comprehensive capacity building programs and assess provincial policies for collaborative opportunities, and is currently working on developing forest management plans, and methods for improving collaboration and public involvement in forestry curricula.
Bankhead National Forest Management Plan
RESOLVE facilitated the process to develop a management plan for the Bankhead National Forest in Alabama. Prior to this effort, the relationship between the USFS and the local stakeholders was categorized by mistrust and miscommunication, and a history of USFS disregard for regional input. The plan development process involved a lot of group team-building and trust-building, in addition to joint fact-finding around the science of the forest ecosystem. The final management plan is available online.