US forestlands are increasingly subject to disturbances including wildfire, insects and disease, and urban and exurban development. Devising strategies for addressing these “forest threats“ depends on anticipating where individual disturbances are most likely and where they might occur in combination. However, many spatial data sets describing forest threats are produced at fine scales but are intended only for coarse-scale planning and policy purposes. We demonstrate one way to combine and display forest threat data at their appropriate spatial scales, using spatial data characterizing wildfire, insects and disease, and urban and exurban development in the northwestern United States. We use a novel 25-km radius neighborhood analysis to highlight locations where threats may be more concentrated relative to others and to identify where multiple threats intersect. Such neighborhood analyses and overlays can help policymakers and managers to anticipate and weigh the implications of potential threats and their intersections in regional- and national-level assessments.
Kline JD, Kerns BK, Day MA, Hammer RB. Mapping multiple forest threats in the northwestern United States. Journal of Forestry. 2013 ;111(3).