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Options Forestry: Acting on Uncertainty

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An increased appreciation of how scientific and societal uncertainty enters management decisions suggests a new approach to forest management–options forestry. We contend that unflinching assessments of uncertainty can often find an array of alternatives that cannot be distinguished with sufficient confidence to permit the choice of one “best practice.” Options forestry responds to uncertainty by diversifying management, emphasizing learning, and integrating research and management. A Siuslaw National Forest project in Oregon demonstrates options forestry as an approach to act on uncertainty to society's advantage.

Keywords: communications; decision science; education; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Team Leader and Forest Ecologist Ecosystem Processes Program, Pacific Northwest Research Station USDA Forest Service 3200 SW Jefferson Way Corvallis OR 97331, Email: 2: Supervisory Mathematical Statistician Managing Disturbance Regimes Program, Pacific Northwest Research Station USDA Forest Service Wenatchee Washington

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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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