Landscape Management System

The Landscape Management System was stimulated by several things: a discussion between John Calhoun, Manager of the Washington DNR Olympic Peninsula region and me and discussions with mid-career students in the Silviculture Institute module I was teaching.  In both cases, we realized that all forest values cannot be provided in a single stand, because different “stand structures” provide mutually exclusive values.  We needed to find a way to coordinate a sustainable amount of all structures across a landscape—something not easy because structures change with growth and disturbances (human-caused and otherwise). I outlined—and taught at the Silviculture Institute module--a method for coordination but it involved many, cumbersome, repetitive calculations. My graduate students at the time kept improving my outline and programming computers to do many of the calculations. Two U.S.Congressmen, Norm Dicks (Democrat) and Charles Taylor (Republican) saw the tool we were developing as a way to solve the spotted owl and fire (forest health) problems. The result was a cooperative project between the University of Washington, College of Forest Resources, Silviculture Laboratory, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, The Cradle of Forestry in America, and the USDA Forest Service. Its purpose was to develop the concepts and tools needed to help forests provide the wide range of values people want -- including commodities, wildlife habitat, fire safety, employment, and carbon sequestration. These values are best provided by coordinating the dynamic changes of forests across a landscape, rather than by trying to provide each or all values continuously on a single area. The software continues to be maintained and supported through the website, with Dr. Jim McCarter--the major LMS software developer and conceptual partner, my PhD student, and now a Professor at North Carolina State University.