Management of Forested Landscapes: Simulations of three alternatives
Forested landscapes can be managed to support variouscombinations of timber, biological diversity,esthetic values, and habitats. However, all such management decisions arechoices basedon opinions about future events. Opinions underlie managementdecisionsbecause thereis no way to jump into the future, verify a future event, jump back to the present, and make a decision.
Research conclusions and experiences help us build mental models with which to make management decisions.However,conclusions and experiences become opinions when they are included in decisions about future events. Simulation models help managers display mental models for scrutiny, exchange ideas with others, and compare the consequences of imposing different opinions on a forested landscape. Thus they aid, but do not replace, mental models.
What aresome of the consequences expected from imposing different opinionson thesame forested landscape? This article compares simulatedconsequences of three different opinions as if each were imposed on the same forested landscapein the southern Appalachian Mountains. One set of opinions would stopal1 harvest of timber; a second set would impose traditional forestry practices; and a third set would impose landscape forestry. Outcomes from these simulations indicate that landscapesorganized for old-growth, biologicaldiversity, habitats, and esthetic values limit timber harvests and cashflows.