A framework for evaluating forest restoration alternatives and their outcomes, over time, to inform monitoring: Bioregional inventory originated simulation under managementThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The BioSum modeling framework summarizes current and prospective future forest conditions under alternative management regimes along with their costs, revenues and product yields. BioSum translates Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data for input to the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS), summarizes FVS outputs for input to the treatment operations cost model (OpCost) and estimates haul costs for harvested material with the Haul Time model to (1) implement silvicultural sequences; (2) generate harvested tree lists to estimate wood produced and treatment cost; and (3) calculate decadal stand descriptors that characterize management outcomes regarding stand attributes, forest resilience, and carbon dynamics. A BioSum project dataset can support monitoring at Forest and Regional scales by providing initial conditions, and a testbed for evaluating assumptions and potential prescriptions and how their impacts evolve over time. As re-measurements on FIA plots continue over time, they can play a key validation and calibration role, developing new knowledge of management’s latent effects, improvements to future versions of FVS, and refinements in BioSum parameterization. BioSum is a versatile, multi-purpose tool designed to inform managers, planners and decisionmakers charged with sorting through myriad options by highlighting potentially superior choices based on user defined criteria. This paper illustrates the analytic power available via application to the real-world problem of developing fire resilience prescriptions and evaluating the modification in stand trajectories, wildlife habitat related stand attributes, fire resistance, economic trade-offs and logistical considerations that would result from their application in the Western United States.