2006 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 39-47
A new perspective on measuring the change associated with landscape conditions, when projected through forest plans, is presented. Traditionally, results of forest plans have consisted of various measures of the net amount (or change) of landscape conditions, such as suitable wildlife habitat. Numerous examples exist of how the net amount of habitat has been used as either an objective or a constraint in forest planning. Here, methods are presented to measure the transition of a landscape condition in terms familiar to those used in the modeling of the growth and yield of forests. The measures include the net change, the gross increment, and the net increment of a landscape condition, using such terms as ingrowth, mortality, and harvest (cut). The level of ingrowth, mortality, and cut relative to some current condition of the landscape, and relative to the total landscape area are also proposed as measures of interest to planners. Finally, the percent of a landscape in each category (ingrowth, mortality, and cut) during each planning period are suggested as conditions of interest to planners. Two examples, one hypothetical, and another a realistic scenario for a large watershed, are used to illustrate the measures of landscape change. This work suggests a new way for managers to evaluate, and perhaps control, projected landscape conditions by examining both the rate of change and the type of change projected to occur across a landscape when managed according to a particular forest plan.