Year of Publication
National Forests in the dry forest provinces on the east‐side of the Oregon and Washington Cascades have been managed under the guidelines of local Forest Plans and the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP), both of which specify large areas of late‐successional reserves (LSRs). In contrast, the recently‐released USDI Fish and Wildlife Service Revised Recovery Plan (RRP) for the Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) calls for development of dynamic and shifting mosaics in the dry forests, and retention of LSRs in moist forests of eastern Cascades of Oregon and Washington, to address NSO habitat and wildfire concerns. Our objectives in this study were to develop and evaluate key management approaches intended to reduce fire risk and conserve NSO habitat and to assess the relative merit of alternative management strategies in fire‐prone stands and landscapes. We first sought to determine the current area and successional status of eastern Cascade forests in Oregon and Washington. Next, we simulated succession, wildfire, and fuel treatments using a state‐and‐transition model, LADS. Finally, we translated forest cover types into three levels of NSO habitat suitability (poor, moderate, and good) and applied an NSO population simulation model to investigate response of the NSO to vegetation trajectories over a 100‐yr time series. To do so, we developed a spatially explicit, individual‐based population model using HexSim software that integrated habitat maps with information on spotted owl population dynamics. We then compared the outcomes of several landscape management scenarios: no restoration management, restoration management under the Northwest Forest Plan reserve network, and two whole‐landscape scenarios representing alternatives to current reserve allocations. All of our simulations assumed a wildfire regime going forward that reflects the regime variability experienced over the most recent 15 years of fire history, including the potential for large, rare fire events. We conducted our analysis in two study areas that encompassed the range of the northern spotted owl within the Okanogan‐Wenatchee National Forest, Washington, and Deschutes National Forest, Oregon.
Raphael MG. Assessing the Compatibility of Fuel Treatments, Wildfire Risk, and Conservation of Northern Spotted Owl Habitats and Populations in the Eastern Cascades: A Multi-Scale Analysis.; 2014. Available from: http://www.firescience.gov/projects/09-1-08-31/project/09-1-08-31_final…