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Forests on the Edge: A GIS-based Approach to Projecting Housing Development on Private Forests

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Stein, Susan; McRoberts, Ron; Nelson, Mark; Theobald, David; Eley, Mike; Dechter, Mike

Year Published

2006

Publication

In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 736-743

Abstract

The private working land base of America’s forests, farms, and ranches is being converted at the rate of nearly 1,620 ha (4,000 acres) per day with tremendous economic, ecological, and social impacts. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service is sponsoring the “Forests on the Edge” project to develop a better understanding of the contributions of America’s private forests to timber, wildlife, and water resources and the pressures exerted on these resources from development, fire, air pollution, and insects and diseases. The project uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques to construct a series of maps depicting pressures and opportunities on America’s private forests in the lower 48 states. Phase I of the project identifies fourth-level watersheds with private forests that are projected to experience increased housing density by 2030. The majority of these watersheds are in the eastern United States, although some that are projected to experience the greatest percent change are in the West. The methodology, results, and planned uses of Phase I products are presented, as are examples of the potential impacts of increased housing density on forest attributes such as wildlife, timber, and water.

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Citation

Stein, Susan; McRoberts, Ron; Nelson, Mark; Theobald, David; Eley, Mike; Dechter, Mike 2006. Forests on the Edge: A GIS-based Approach to Projecting Housing Development on Private Forests. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 736-743

Last updated on: January 21, 2010