FRASC Topic: Sustainable Working Forests and Rangelands

Overview:

FoxOur quartlery meeting in June, 2012 focused on Sustainble Forestry with a sutainble forestry pioneer, Mike Jani, sharing his experience. Please click here for content from our meeting. And please feel free to send us any comments or suggestions you migh have!

 

Overview of the 2010 Assessment of Forests and Rangelands:

For the purposes of the 2010 Assessment of Forest and Rangelands, sustainable forestry was defined by the concept of a “working landscape” which encompassed the idea that lands managed for essential ecosystem services must also provide the commodities essential to human communities. To ensure sustainability, forest and rangeland ecosystem service management must be balanced with the production of food, fiber, energy, and other economic values essential to thriving human communities.

The 2010 Assessment also examined current conditions and trends of working landscapes and the industries that depend on them and threats to their sustainability related to land use and land cover change, forests and woodlands, forest products sector, and rangelands and range industry.

Several spatial analyses were done to address opportunities for landowner assistance to enhance productivity and health of working landscapes. Each analysis identified priority landscapes where additional investments have the potential to simultaneously enhance commodity production as well as ecosystem service health. The first spatial analysis was “risk reduction on forestlands” and identified areas with timber and biomass energy assets that were threatened by wildfire and forest pests. The second spatial analysis was “risk reduction on rangelands” and identified areas where range productivity is threatened by wildfire. The third and last spatial analysis was “restoring impacted timberlands” and identified areas with timber and biomass energy assets that have been impacted by past wildfires or forest pest outbreaks. A fourth non-spatial statistical analysis was included that quantified opportunities for improving stocking levels on timberlands. To access the 2010 Forest and Rangelands Assessment Report chapter on sustainable forestry, click here

Revisiting Sustainable forestry:

We are now revisiting our approach from the 2010 Assessment in preparation for the 2015 Assessment. We are beginning with the idea of sustainability and what it means in the context of forestry and rangeland management in California. Several other agencies and groups have made similar attempts at defining sustainable forestry, what it is and how to implement it in every day forest practices:  

  • In 2010 the US Forest Service published the National Report on Sustainable Forests. This report is a discussion on sustainable forestry and includes a discussion of the indicators used to determine how close we are to sustainable:
    This is a report on the state of forests in the United States of America and the indicators of national progress toward the goal of sustainable forest management. The report is designed to provide information that will improve public dialog and decision making on desired outcomes and needed actions to move the Nation toward this goal
  • The State of Oregon is addressing sustainable forestry through the Oregon Roundtable on Sustainable Forests. The roundtable is, " to engage multiple stakeholders through collaborative efforts to advance understanding, assessment, and reporting of forest sustainability.

There are also industry-specific efforts at defining and tracking sustainable forestry:

 

  • The Sustainable Forestry Initiative:
    Launched in 1994, "SFI Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving a sustainable forestry certification program that is internationally recognized and is the largest single forest standard in the world."

  • The Forest Stewardship Council :
    (Whose) purpose is to coordinate the development of forest management standards throughout the different biogeographic regions of the U.S., to provide public information about certification and FSC, and to work with certification organizations to promote FSC certification in the U.S.

 


 

 

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