The Southern Forest Futures Project is a multi-year effort that is using technical forecasts and expert analysis to provide forest managers, policy makers, and science leaders with the clearest possible understanding of the potential long term implications of changes in southern forests.
The Project utilizes a three stage assessment process to accomplish this. The forecasting stage involves development of several possible future scenarios for the entire South. For each scenario, forecasts of land uses and forest conditions for the region that span 50 years forward are completed at a fine spatial resolution. Public input from our set of public meetings helped identify what those scenarios should be as well as what forest resource changes should be evaluated.
The second stage involves the analysis of several "meta-issues" that represent big questions and challenges regarding forest resource sustainability. Again these meta-issues were identified through the analysis of public input. Forecasts will inform these analyses, but this stage of work will also rely heavily on a synthesis of the scientific literature in each area.
The third and final stage of analysis will evaluate the implications of these forecasted conditions and meta-issues for each of five subregions. This stage will draw out the implications for management and restoration at a finer scale.