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Forested landscapes across western North America are in crisis today; at risk of uncharacteristic disturbances that threaten both natural and human communities. Conserving these forests will require a “whole systems” approach: working at landscape scales and explicitly incorporating ecological processes along with the needs of human communities. By doing so, we can more effectively conserve and restore these extremely diverse and valuable ecosystems and build sustaining relationships between nature and people. This report presents results from a project in Washington State to assess the current ecological condition of forests across the eastern Washington landscape as the necessary first step towards developing whole system forest conservation goals. The report includes a spatial analysis of eastern Washington forests using LANDFIRE data on historic and current forest structure and composition, as well as ownership and management designation data. It assesses departure of current forest vegetation from historic conditions and the current landscape ownership/management context; this information can be used to evaluate how well the ecosystem-scale processes that regulate these forests may be functioning. Appendices provide results at regional and watershed scales within the project area along with additional information on methodology.
Authors: Liane Davis, Ryan Haugo, and Darren Kavanagh
Phone: 971.255.1651 - Cell: 541.231.7755