A guest post by Lynn Jungwirth
Clearly modern forest plans must have a restoration plan embedded in them. We’ve been struggling here lately with trying to figure out “how much is enough”. Currently “cumulative effect” means that you figure out where the threshold is for negative impact….how many roaded acre equivalents can happen before you have tipped the watershed into an unacceptable trajectory. But if we are going to be planning for restoration and maintenance of ecosystem function, we do not have an equivalent cumulative effect analysis for when you reach a threshold which means the system is on a good trajectory and can take care of itself, or is at least adequately repaired or resilient in the face of projected climate change.
How could a forest planning rule help us make that investigation?
I’m also pretty concerned that many of these place-based approaches in legislation are sort of just running over the forest planning process and again splitting the baby . wilderness vs industrial restoration seems so old fashioned. The forests have been run ragged with this either “too much” or “not enough” management approach. The 22nd Century seems to ask more of us. If we are truly going to wrestle with the integration of recreation, silviculture, restoration, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and an “all lands” approach, it seems that what is required in forest plans is going to be very very different than what we have now.