Forest-dominated landscapes provide a wide range of ecosystem services to many different sectors of society, including forest products (e.g., timber), recreational opportunities and support of tourism, carbon sequestration, and habitat for fish and wildlife and other biodiversity. However, many forests and embedded aquatic systems in the Northwoods are in degraded condition due to land and resource management decisions, impacts of over-abundant deer populations, and the spread of nonnative forest pests and pathogens that have led to “surprise” losses of key tree species. The long-term viability of these vast expanses of forest-dominated systems has great potential to be further compromised as climatic changes stress these systems, and as pressures increase to make more land
available for renewable resources like biofuels and windpower.
Maintaining productive and diverse forests, and a sustainable flow of ecosystem services, requires that we consider forest conditions and viability at multiple scales, ranging from a canopy gap or forest stand to vast landscapes. Similarly, forest management, the most dominant impact on systems in our region, is a source of disturbance (and often regeneration) that has impacts on a wide range of conservation targets and services, and thus requires a multi-scale perspective. The spatial mosaic of ownership (large and small holdings, in public and private hands) in the Northwoods also emphasizes the need for a multi-scalar, map-based approach.
This project aims to 1) Lay the groundwork for collaboration by documenting management actions, current partnerships, and management constraints and opportunities; 2) Create a cross‐walk of goals & focal values across stakeholders and system types; 3) Develop a framework that facilitates the comparison of costs and benefits across multiple forest values (ecological, social) associated with different strategies.
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