Southern Forest Resource Assessment: Conducting Science in the Public Eye

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Questions about the long-term sustainability of southern forest benefits, including wildlife habitat, water quality, and timber supply, prompted this regional assessment and guided the process by which it was conducted. SFRA's final report is descriptive–not prescriptive–and is intended to inform debate and policymaking in technically defensible, unbiased, and understandable terms. Although the analysis was science based and peer reviewed, the public helped frame the questions and critique the answers. This article describes the process used to complete the assessment and draws out several general observations about conducting a scientific analysis of this scope in a public setting.

Keywords: communication; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; future of forestry; natural resource management; natural resources; public relations; sustainable forestry

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Coleader Southern Forest Resource Assessment, USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, 1720 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA, 30367, 2: Coleader Southern Forest Resource Assessment, USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina,

Publication date: October 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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