Science Synthesis to Support Land and Resource Management Plan Revision in the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascades

Science Synthesis to Support Land and Resource Management Plan Revision in the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascades
This synthesis emphasizes recent advances in scientific understanding that pertain to some of the most important issues facing managers across the synthesis area. These advances can help managers integrate ecological and social considerations across multiple spatial and temporal scales. The intent of this synthesis was not to create a comprehensive summary of the latest science, and chapters do not represent a complete review of all available literature. A number of recent management-oriented syntheses focused on different topics and disciplines have become available. These are referenced within the synthesis chapters and are also listed in an appendix. This synthesis presents recent science that is relevant to forest planning in the synthesis area, which includes the forested mountains of the Sierra Nevada, the southern Cascade Range, and the Modoc Plateau (Fig. 1). The synthesis primarily focuses on conifer-dominated forest ecosystems that constitute the vast majority of this area, although the Water Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems section includes chapters on forested riparian areas (6.2), wet meadows (6.3), and lakes (6.4). The broader concepts discussed in this document are likely to be useful beyond the area and ecosystems of focus. However, many of the specific examples may not necessarily be applicable to other areas, especially drier areas that are more representative of the Great Basin.
National Forests in the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascades are preparing to review and revise thEIR land and resource management plans (LMRPs). The three most southern national forests of the Sierra Nevada (Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra) were selected to be the lead forests for Region 5 and are among the first of the 155 national forests to update thEIR plans. The new planning rule requires the forests to consider the best available science and encourages a more active role for research in plan development. To help meet this requirement, the Pacific Southwest Region (R5) Leadership asked the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) to develop a synthesis of relevant science that has become available since the development of the existing LRMPs. Regional Leadership and stakeholders suggested that the GTR-220 report (North et al. 2009) served as a useful format, but that the content and scope of that report should be expanded to address additional biological, social, and economic challenges. In response to this request, a team of scientists from PSW and the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW) assembled to meet the goals of the effort and to engage with forest managers and stakeholders. Team members participated in the public Sierra-Cascades Dialog sessions and met with Forest Service leadership and managers and external stakeholders to learn about thEIR concerns, interests, and management challenges.
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USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region
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USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station 800 Buchanan Street Albany, CA 94710 (510) 559-6300
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