July 30, 2021

Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Pilot Project has Applications for Forest Plan Revisions

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The Ashley National Forest has implemented and refined novel approaches to evaluate ecosystem services in a pilot project with Forest Service Research and Development, the Washington Office, Duke University and Environmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. as part of the forest plan revision process, according to a post on the Inside the Forest Service blog.

The project team collaborated using workshops and Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to identify and link social and economic outcomes to land management decisions, such as those tied to recreation and traditional cultural practices. The toolkit developed for the Ashley National Forest provides a useful model for discussion of ecosystem services that can be used by other forest plan revision teams.

Details of this pilot project were published in a recent edition of the journal Forests: Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States. An overview of the Ecosystem Services Conceptual Model and applications for the U.S. Forest Service is available in the Nicholas Institute's Ecosystem Services Toolkit.