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Mapping Multiple Forest Threats in the Northwestern United States

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Abstract:

US forestlands are increasingly subject to disturbances including wildfire, insects and disease, and urban and exurban development. Devising strategies for addressing these “forest threats” depends on anticipating where individual disturbances are most likely and where they might occur in combination. However, many spatial data sets describing forest threats are produced at fine scales but are intended only for coarse-scale planning and policy purposes. We demonstrate one way to combine and display forest threat data at their appropriate spatial scales, using spatial data characterizing wildfire, insects and disease, and urban and exurban development in the northwestern United States. We use a novel 25-km radius neighborhood analysis to highlight locations where threats may be more concentrated relative to others and to identify where multiple threats intersect. Such neighborhood analyses and overlays can help policymakers and managers to anticipate and weigh the implications of potential threats and their intersections in regional- and national-level assessments.

Keywords: forest health; insects and disease; landscape planning and assessment; wildfire; wildland-urban interface

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/jof.12-099

Publication date: May 2, 2013

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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