NED is a collection of software products being developed by the USDA Forest Service. The NED software is intended to aid resource managers to develop goals, assess current and future conditions, and produce sustainable management plans for forest properties.
The NED Concept
The NED concept is to use an original prescription design system to incorporate management goals for multiple objectives, analyze current forest conditions, recommend management alternatives, and predict future conditions under different alternatives. NED is designed to include a long-term, landscape-level view of the forest as an interconnected ecosystem that is too complex to understand at every level but which still must be managed. Recommendations for potential treatments involve information on all resources affected and provide options from which a manager may choose. The technique involves defining a management area of interest, defining goals for the area, identifying conditions necessary to meet each goal, and identifying conditions that can be met in conjunction with others, from most restrictive to least restrictive.
The process begins with the selection of management objectives, or goals, for any or all of five resources: visual quality, wildlife, water, wood production, and general ecological objectives. These goals are defined for a management unit at a scale from one to many stands, generally within the range of 5 to 5000 hectares. Committees of experts in each of the specific resources have defined the conditions necessary to meet the specified goals, and have determined common variables to allow consistent evaluation of the conditions across goals. This integrated evaluation is a key element to the process of determining acceptable prescriptions and evaluating whether different alternative actions across the entire area will meet the desired conditions.
NED offers a number of products to meet different aspects of the model's purpose.
Last Modified: 02/14/2008