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A Restoration Framework for Federal Forests in the Pacific Northwest

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We outline elements of a forest restoration strategy designed to produce ecological and economic benefits on federal forests in Oregon and Washington, along with some of their policy and management implications. Implementation of this restoration strategy has begun on 11 projects (at scales from hundreds to thousands of acres) on federal lands. On Moist Forest sites (MF), the strategy calls for reserving older forest stands, thinning plantations to accelerate development of structural complexity, and implementing variable retention harvests in younger forests to help provide diverse early seral ecosystems. On Dry Forest (DF) sites, the strategy calls for silvicultural treatments that retain and release older trees, reduce stand densities, shift composition toward fire- and drought-tolerant tree species, and incorporate spatial heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales. Immediate goals of this restoration framework include increased ecological integrity and resilience in DFs, increased diversity and complexity of successional stages in MFs, and provision of wood products to local communities. Over the long run, we believe this program can provide an acceptable pathway to sustained yield on federal forestlands in the Pacific Northwest.

Keywords: Dry Forest; Moist Forest; forest restoration; northern spotted owl; old-growth; retention harvest

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-12-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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