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Translating national level forest service goals to local level land management: carbon sequestration

McNulty, Steven, Treasure, Emrys, Jennings, Lisa, Meriwether, David, Harris, David, Arndt, Paul
Climatic change 2018 v.146 no.1-2 pp. 133-144
USDA Forest Service, adaptive management, carbon, carbon sequestration, case studies, climate change, forest management, forests, issues and policy, land management, national forests, United States
The USDA Forest Service has many national level policies related to multiple use management. However, translating national policy to stand level forest management can be difficult. As an example of how a national policy can be put into action, we examined three case studies in which a desired future condition is evaluated at the national, region, and local scale. We chose to use carbon sequestration as the desired future condition because climate change has become a major area of concern during the last decade. Several studies have determined that the 193 million acres of US national forest land currently sequester 11 to 15% of the total carbon emitted as a nation. This paper provides a framework by which national scale strategies for maintaining or enhancing forest carbon sequestration is translated through regional considerations and local constraints in adaptive management practices. Although this framework used the carbon sequestration as a case study, this framework could be used with other national level priorities such as the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) or the Endangered Species Act (ESA).