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  • Kerchner, C. D.; Keeton, W. S. (Forest Policy and Economics, 2015
      Carbon markets have the potential to reward landowners for improved forest management and forest conservation. To date, the Over the Counter (OTC) voluntary market represents the greatest opportunity for forest landowners to participate in carbon transactions. However, lack of a consistent carbon price signal and sporadic demand coupled by high transaction costs has prevented widespread participation from family forest landowners. Adoption of a U.S. based cap-and-trade program reduces price risk and may provide incentives for sustainable forest management across large areas. Yet few studies have examined the supply side of carbon offsets and factors affecting project financial viability. To address this gap, we assessed how (1) property characteristics (i.e. stocking level, forest type, size etc.); (2) silvicultural treatments; and (3) protocol and legislative requirements affect the financial viability of compliance forest offset projects, focusing on California's Air Resource Board (ARE) program due to its significance as the world's second largest carbon market. We used forest inventory data from 25 properties in the northeastern United States to examine the viability of the sites as ARE offset projects. We utilized the U.S. Forest Service Forest Vegetation Simulator for our growth and yield simulations. To examine the factors that influence project viability, we used a classification and regression tree analysis performed in S-Plus software. Results indicate C stocking and property size are the most important property characteristics driving return on investment. However, protocol requirements and legislative assumptions impacting long-term monitoring costs are also important factors. While reduced price risk in a compliance carbon market has the potential to improve forest management in North America; high initial project development costs, long-term monitoring obligations, and legislative uncertainty are significant barriers that will limit family forest landowner market participation. The model developed here can be used by U.S. landowners to assess the financial viability of their property as a compliance offset project and can be utilized by policymakers to develop cost-effective climate change policy. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Schwenk, W. S.; Donovan, T. M.; Keeton, W. S.; Nunery, J. S. (Ecological Applications, 2012
      Increasingly, land managers seek ways to manage forests for multiple ecosystem services and functions, yet considerable challenges exist in comparing disparate services and balancing trade-offs among them. We applied multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and forest simulation models to simultaneously consider three objectives: (1) storing carbon, (2) producing timber and wood products, and (3) sustaining biodiversity. We used the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) applied to 42 northern hardwood sites to simulate forest development over 100 years and to estimate carbon storage and timber production. We estimated biodiversity implications with occupancy models for 51 terrestrial bird species that were linked to FVS outputs. We simulated four alternative management prescriptions that spanned a range of harvesting intensities and forest structure retention. We found that silvicultural approaches emphasizing less frequent harvesting and greater structural retention could be expected to achieve the greatest net carbon storage but also produce less timber. More intensive prescriptions would enhance biodiversity because positive responses of early successional species exceeded negative responses of late successional species within the heavily forested study area. The combinations of weights assigned to objectives had a large influence on which prescriptions were scored as optimal. Overall, we found that a diversity of silvicultural approaches is likely to be preferable to any single approach, emphasizing the need for landscape-scale management to provide a full range of ecosystem goods and services. Our analytical framework that combined MCDA with forest simulation modeling was a powerful tool in understanding trade-offs among management objectives and how they can be simultaneously accommodated.
  • Mills, R. W.; Koliba, C. J. (Regulation & GovernanceRegul. Gov., 2015
      A puzzle that faces public administrators within regulatory governance networks is how to balance the need for democratic accountability while increasingly facing demands from elected officials to optimize oversight of industry by utilizing the expertise of the private sector in developing risk-based standards for compliance. The shift from traditional command and control oversight to process oriented regulatory regimes has been most pronounced in highly complex industries, such as aviation and deepwater oil drilling, where the intricate and technical nature of operations necessitates risk-based regulatory networks based largely on voluntary compliance with mutually agreed upon standards. The question addressed in this paper is how the shift to process oriented regimes affects the trade-offs between democratic, market, and administrative accountability frames, and what factors determine the dominant accountability frame within the network. Using post-incident document analysis, this paper provides a case study of regulatory oversight of the deepwater oil drilling industry prior to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, to explore how the shift to a more networked risk-based regulatory regime affects the trade-offs and dominant accountability frames within the network. The results of this study indicate that a reliance on market-based accountability mechanisms, along with the lack of a fully implemented process-oriented regulatory regime, led to the largest oil spill in US history.
  • Costanza, R.; Kubiszewski, I.; Roman, J.; Sutton, P. (Migration and Global Environmental Change, 2011
      This paper examines the history and current status of ecosystem services in low-lying coastal areas (LLCAs), their potential changes because of wider environmental and social shifts, and the potential impacts of these changes on human migration. We synthesised information from a number of sources on the status and value of ecosystem services in LLCAs, including information about key ecosystems that are likely to be particularly vulnerable to environmental change. We created maps of ecosystem and human population changes in LLCAs and then estimated changes in ecosystem services. Estimating the impacts of these potential changes depends on the future scenario one assumes. For our analysis four scenarios were developed for future ecosystem and ecosystem services conditions in 2060, based on the four SRES (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) scenarios with additional reference to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Great Transition Initiative scenarios. The two axes of the SRES scenarios are global vs. regional and material economy vs. environment foci. This allowed an assessment of the plausible range of future uncertainty about ecosystem services in LLCAs and the potential for changes in ecosystem services to drive human migration.
  • Guilbert, J.; Betts, A. K.; Rizzo, D. M.; Beckage, B.; Bomblies, A. (Geophysical Research Letters, 2015
      We present evidence of increasing persistence in daily precipitation in the northeastern United States that suggests that global circulation changes are affecting regional precipitation patterns. Meteorological data from 222 stations in 10 northeastern states are analyzed using Markov chain parameter estimates to demonstrate that a significant mode of precipitation variability is the persistence of precipitation events. We find that the largest region-wide trend in wet persistence (i.e., the probability of precipitation in 1day and given precipitation in the preceding day) occurs in June (+0.9% probability per decade over all stations). We also find that the study region is experiencing an increase in the magnitude of high-intensity precipitation events. The largest increases in the 95th percentile of daily precipitation occurred in April with a trend of +0.7mm/d/decade. We discuss the implications of the observed precipitation signals for watershed hydrology and flood risk.
  • Stephens, Jennie C.; Hansson, Anders; Liu, Yue; de Coninck, Heleen; Vajjhala, Shalini (Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions, 2011
      Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a controversial climate change mitigation technology that has been receiving increased public and private investment over the past decade in several countries. During this time, a diverse international network of professionals focused on the advancement of CCS technology has emerged. Within this international CCS community, a shared perception of the value of advancing CCS technology is generally assumed, and this community has been influential in lobbying for increased support for the development of CCS in many countries and at the international level. The phenomenon of an apparently shared perspective within a specific community relates to Haas' (1992a) description of the evolution of an epistemic community, or a knowledge-based network of recognized experts who "not only hold in common a set of principled and causal beliefs but also have shared notions of validity and a shared policy enterprise". Understanding the extent to which a given community can be characterized as an epistemic community can provide insights about the effectiveness of its policy intervention, its association with the broader public, and the success of communicating the messages that it wants to convey. The goal of this research is to begin to explore the nature of the CCS community; to provide a preliminary characterization of the community, and to consider whether and in what ways the community might be considered to be an epistemic community or a compilation of multiple different epistemic communities. This characterization suggests that although the CCS community may be influencing decision-makers and successfully garnering political support for advancing CCS technology, a potential disconnect with the concerns of a broader public is deserving of more attention and social science research. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Balogh-Brunstad, Z.; Keller, C. K.; Bormann, B. T.; O'Brien, R.; Wang, D.; Hawley, G. J. (Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2008
      Mineral weathering and chemical denudation of terrestrial environments are understood by both geochemists and ecologists to be affected by rooted plant growth. We used unique 20-year "sandbox'' experiments to test the predictions of both disciplines regarding the influence of tree growth and harvest on chemical weathering and denudation of Ca(2+), Mg(2+) and K(+). Results showed 3 temporal phases: 1) weathering-dominated rapid uptake of mineral nutrients with retention in trees and soil, and low denudation; 2) biocycling-dominated nutrient uptake with slower tree growth, and chemical fluxes reduced to near zero; and 3) denudation-dominated loss of nutrient reserves after harvest by disruption of biotic regulation. Overall, a red pine sandbox used and retained its resources more effectively than a reference non-vascular system. The results suggest that disturbance may be an important factor controlling chemical denudation rates. Temporal variations of the fluxes highlight difficulties of extrapolating weathering and denudation rates over long timescales.
  • Zanchi, G.; Frieden, D.; Pucker, J.; Bird, D. N.; Buchholz, T.; Windhorst, K. (Biomass and Bioenergy, 2012
      The establishment of tree plantations in rural areas in Uganda could provide renewable energy to rural communities, while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from conventional electricity sources and unsustainable forest use. The study evaluates the greenhouse gas benefits that could be produced by biomass based energy systems in Anaka, a rural settlement in the Amuru district in northern Uganda. Two alternative energy uses are explored: a) electricity production through wood gasification and b) traditional fuelwood use. It is estimated that a small-scale wood gasifier could provide electricity for basic community services by planting less than 10 ha of new short rotation coppices (SRCs). The gasification system could save 50e67% of the GHG emissions produced by traditional diesel based electricity generators in terms of CO2-eq. (0.61e0.83 t MWh 1 or 7.1 t y 1 per hectare of SRCs). It was also estimated that traditional use of fuelwood in households is currently unsustainable, i.e. the consumption of wood is higher than the annual growth fromnatural wood resources in the study area. It is estimated that 0.02e0.06 ha per capita of plantations could render the current consumption of wood sustainable. In this way, the CO2 emissions produced through unsustainable extraction of wood could be avoided (2.0e7.3 t per capita per year or 50e130 t y 1 per hectare of SRCs).
  • Vermeulen, S. J.; Zougmore, R.; Wollenberg, E.; Thornton, P. K.; Nelson, G. C.; Kristjanson, P.; Kinyangi, J.; Jarvis, A.; Hansen, J. W.; Challinor, A. J.; Campbell, B.; Aggarwal, P. K. (Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2012
      To achieve food security for many in low-income and middle-income countries for whom this is already a challenge, especially with the additional complications of climate change, will require early investment to support smallholder farming systems and the associated food systems that supply poor consumers. We need both local and global policy-linked research to accelerate sharing of lessons on institutions, practices and technologies for adaptation and mitigation. This strategy paper briefly outlines how the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) is working across research disciplines, organisational mandates, and spatial and temporal levels to assist immediate and longer-term policy actions.
  • Wollenberg, E.; Tapio-Bistroem, M. L.; Grieg-Gran, M. (Routledge, New York, NY.New York, NY, 2012
  • Harvey, Celia A.; Chacon, Mario; Donatti, Camila I.; Garen, Eva; Hannah, Lee; Andrade, Angela; Bede, Lucio; Brown, Douglas; Calle, Alicia; Chara, Julian; Clement, Christopher; Gray, Elizabeth; Minh Ha, Hoang; Minang, Peter; Rodriguez, Ana Maria; Seeberg-Elverfeldt, Christina; Semroc, Bambi; Shames, Seth; Smukler, Sean; Somarriba, Eduardo; Torquebiau, Emmanuel; van Etten, Jacob; Wollenberg, Eva (Conservation Letters, 2014
      Addressing the global challenges of climate change, food security, and poverty alleviation requires enhancing the adaptive capacity and mitigation potential of agricultural landscapes across the tropics. However, adaptation and mitigation activities tend to be approached separately due to a variety of technical, political, financial, and socioeconomic constraints. Here, we demonstrate that many tropical agricultural systems can provide both mitigation and adaptation benefits if they are designed and managed appropriately and if the larger landscape context is considered. Many of the activities needed for adaptation and mitigation in tropical agricultural landscapes are the same needed for sustainable agriculture more generally, but thinking at the landscape scale opens a new dimension for achieving synergies. Intentional integration of adaptation and mitigation activities in agricultural landscapes offers significant benefits that go beyond the scope of climate change to food security, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation. However, achieving these objectives will require transformative changes in current policies, institutional arrangements, and funding mechanisms to foster broad-scale adoption of climate-smart approaches in agricultural landscapes.
  • Keeton, William S; Mote, Philip W; Franklin, Jerry F (Advances in the Economics of Environmental ResourcesEmerald Group Publishing Limited, New York., 2007
      Climate change during the next century is likely to significantly influence forest ecosystems in the western United States, including indirect effects on forest and shrubland fire regimes. Further exacerbation of fire hazards by the warmer, drier summers projected for much of the western U.S. by climate models would compound already elevated fire risks caused by 20th century fire suppression. This has potentially grave consequences for the urban–wildland interface in drier regions, where residential expansion increasingly places people and property in the midst of fire-prone vegetation. Understanding linkages between climate variability and change, therefore, are central to our ability to forecast future risks and adapt land management, allocation of fire management resources, and suburban planning accordingly. To establish these linkages we review previous research and draw inferences from our own retrospective work focused on 20th century climate–fire relationships in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW). We investigated relationships between the two dominant modes of climate variability affecting the PNW, which are Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and El Nin˜o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and historic fire activity at multiple spatial scales. We used historic fire data spanning most of the 20th century for USDA Forest Service Region 6, individual states (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), and 20 national forests representative of the region’s physiographic diversity. Forest fires showed significant correlations with warm/dry phases of PDO at regional and state scales; relationships were variable at the scale of individual national forests. Warm/dry phases of PDO were especially influential in terms of the occurrence of very large fire events throughout the PNW. No direct statistical relationships were found between ENSO and forest fires at regional scales, although relationships may exist at smaller spatial scales. However, both ENSO and PDO were correlated with summer drought, as estimated by the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), and PDSI was correlated with fire activity at all scales. Even moderate (70.31C decadal mean) fluctuations in PNW climate over the 20th century have influenced wildfire activity based on our analysis. Similar trends have been reported for other regions of the western U.S. Thus, forest fire activity has been sensitive to past climate variability, even in the face of altered dynamics due to fire suppression, as in the case of our analysis. It is likely that fire activity will increase in response to future temperature increases, at the same or greater magnitude as experienced during past climate variability. If extreme drought conditions become more prevalent we can expect a greater frequency of large, high-intensity forest fires. Increased vulnerability to forest fires may worsen the current fire management problem in the urban–wildland interface. Adaptation of fire management and restoration planning will be essential to address fire hazards in areas of intermingled exurban development and fire-prone vegetation. We recommend: (1) landscape-level strategic planning of fire restoration and containment projects; (2) better use of climatic forecasts, including PDO and ENSO related predictions; and (3) community-based efforts to limit further residential expansion into fire-prone forested and shrubland areas.
  • Fisher, B. (Science, 2007
  • Hermans, C.; Erickson, J.; Noordewier, T.; Sheldon, A.; Kline, M. (Journal of Environmental Management, 2007
      Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) provides a well-established family of decision tools to aid stakeholder groups in arriving at collective decisions. MCDA can also function as a framework for the social learning process, serving as an educational aid in decision problems characterized by a high level of public participation. In this paper, the framework and results of a structured decision process using the outranking MCDA methodology preference ranking organization method of enrichment evaluation (PROMETHEE) are presented. PROMETHEE is used to frame multi-stakeholder discussions of river management alternatives for the Upper White River of Central Vermont, in the northeastern United States. Stakeholders met over 10 months to create a shared vision of an ideal river and its services to communities, develop a list of criteria by which to evaluate river management alternatives, and elicit preferences to rank and compare individual and group preferences. The MCDA procedure helped to frame a group process that made stakeholder preferences explicit and substantive discussions about long-term river management possible. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Danks, C. and L. Fortmann (Elsevier Ltd., Oxford.Oxford, 2004
  • Wollenberg, E., Campbell, B.M., Shackleton, S., Edmunds, D., Shanley, P. (IFPRI, Washington, DC.Washington, DC, 2004
      Governments around the world increasingly seek to manage their forests with the collaboration of the people living nearby. Ministries of forestry or their equivalents usually do this by offering local people access to selected forest products or forest land, income from forest resources, or opportunities for communicating with government forestry officials. In return, the agency obliges local people to cooperate in managing the forests around them by protecting existing forest or by planting trees. Governments claim that the programs devolve control over forests to local people and provide more secure livelihoods, as well as help maintain and regenerate forests. By sharing rights among local groups and the state, the programs also help to reconcile the resource claims of local people with those of the national government. Everybody supposedly wins. Millions of the rural poor now participate in collaborative forest management schemes under a variety of tenurial and organizational arrangements.We examine those arrangements and ask whether local people have indeed gained more access to benefits from and control over forests. Our findings suggest that most co-management projects actually maintain and even extend central government control.Where communities had already managed forests in Orissa and Uttarakhand in India, the government required that they share their incomes with the state forest department. Governments in many countries typically predetermine which species can be planted in reforestation or agroforestry schemes and what types of organizations can be given rights to manage forests.Whereas local people have gained greater legal access to forests and some might have increased their incomes, many have also lost out. For example, game areas and plantations have been frequently established on land used by poorer members of communities for grazing or cultivation. Local people have also not shown a consistent interest in forest management.
  • Westdijk, K.; Koliba, C.; Hamshaw, K. (Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 2010
  • Burrascano, S.; Keeton, W. S.; Sabatini, F. M.; Blasi, C. (Forest Ecology and Management, 2013
      Temperate forests have been fundamentally altered by land use and other stressors globally; these have reduced the abundance of primary and old-growth forests in particular. Despite many regional studies, the literature lacks a global synthesis of temperate old-growth structural characteristics. In this study we compare literature derived data on mature and old-growth moist temperate forests with the aim of: (i) exploring global commonalities; (ii) investigating sources of variability among systems; and (iii) highlighting data gaps and research needs. We compiled a dataset of 147 records from 93 papers, and analyzed a set of structural indicators: basal area, stem density, large living trees, live aboveground biomass, quadratic mean diameter, and coarse woody debris volume. These indicators were contrasted between mature and old-growth age classes at a global level and across continents and broad forest types, testing for significance through Monte-Carlo permutation procedure. We also related structural indicators to age, climatic and geographical descriptors. Our results suggest that all structural indicators vary across systems in relation to geographical, compositional, and climatic influences. However old-growth forests showed global commonalities in structure when compared to mature forests: significantly higher densities of large living trees, higher quadratic mean diameter, and higher amounts of live aboveground biomass and coarse woody debris. Furthermore we found inconsistency in the structural variables reported by different papers; lack of studies on temperate forests in Russia, and Western and Central Asia. The findings improve our understanding of old-growth structure and function, and will help inform sustainable forest management and conservation approaches world-wide. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Hu, L.; Savidge, C.; Rizzo, D.; Hayden, N.; Hagadorn, J.; Dewoolkar, M. (Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 2013
  • Fisher, B.; Kulindwa, K.; Mwanyoka, I.; Turner, R. K.; Burgess, N. D. (Ecological Economics, 2010
      Research into common pool resources from the field and in the laboratory has provided a series of insights for the successful management of such resources. The consequences of action and inaction in managing common pool resources are often most strongly felt (gains or losses) by local people. Several ecosystem services can be considered CPRs but in some cases the benefits of (mis)management are enjoyed by one group while the costs are levied on another group. Here we discuss some of the key findings of the CPR literature and how these relate to key considerations for using PES as a management tool. We focus on the role that ecosystems play in regulating water flows in two basins in Tanzania where feasibility studies have been conducted for the potential implementation of PES for water. We find that the lessons from CPR research shed light on some of the key implementation problems for PES mechanisms, and provide a useful guide for highlighting important user-resource considerations especially in contexts similar to East Africa, (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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