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Aspen Restoration and Social Agreements: An Introductory Guide for Forest Collaboratives in Central and Eastern Oregon

Authors:
  • Sustainable Northwest

Abstract and Figures

This document is part of a forest collaborative regional learning project on aspen restoration and social agreements. Many forest collaborative groups in the region have voiced an interest in addressing aspen restoration on their public lands of focus or Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CLFR) projects. These groups consist of diverse stakeholders who work together to support forest restoration on public lands for mutual ecological, economic, and social outcomes through consensus-based dialogue and decision making. This often occurs during the management agency’s planning or NEPA process. Although the agency retains final decision-making authority, common ground agreements that collaboratives achieve can assist in identifying socially acceptable restoration treatments, and are intended, in part, to reduce the likelihood of objections and litigation.
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In eastern Oregon in the USA, there has been a debate about restoring forest health to address overstocking, insects and disease, and uncharacteristic wildfire. Stakeholder “forest collaborative” groups have formed for dialogue about these issues. Little is known about how these groups function and how they conceive of forest health. We examined seven forest collaboratives, finding that forest health is an umbrella term often used to indicate general need for forest restoration including thinning and prescribed burning. Concepts such as historic range of variability, structure, and species diversity were more commonly discussed than specific insects and diseases. There is a fairly high degree of satisfaction among participants with how well forest collaboratives are achieving their desired outcomes.
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Technical Report
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The Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the principle of multiple use man-agement of the Nation's forest resources for sustained yields of wood, water, forage, wildlife, and recreation. Through forestry research, cooperation with the States and private forest owners, and management of the national forests and national grasslands, it strives—as directed by Congress—to provide increasingly greater service to a growing Nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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Sudden decline (SAD), affecting Populus tremuloides, was first observed in Colorado in 2004. By 2008 it affected at least 220,000 ha, an estimated 17% of the cover type in the state. In southwestern Colorado, we examined site and stand features in paired
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A conventional view of regeneration ecology of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) in western North American holds that reproduction is strictly vegetative and, except on some marginal sites, only successful following high-severity disturbance. This view has strongly influenced silvicultural treatment of western aspen and has led to low expectations concerning genetic diversity of stands and landscapes. However, recent discoveries are fundamentally altering our understanding of western aspen regeneration ecology and genetics. For example, there are clearly multiple pathways of aspen regeneration and stand development. Research on a variety of fronts indicates that seedling establishment is common enough to be ecologically important and that genetic diversity is substantially greater than previously thought. We review conventional understanding of western aspen and put this into the context of silvicultural practice. We then review recent developments in aspen research and assess the silvicultural implications of these insights.