An assessment of forest ecosystem health in the Southwest
This report documents an ecological assessment of forest ecosystem health in the Southwest. The assessment focuses at the regional level and mostly pertains to lands administered by the National Forest System. Information is presented for use by forest and district resource managers as well as collaborative partners in the stewardship of Southwestern forests. The report establishes a scientific basis for conducting forest health projects, provides a context for planning ecosystem restoration, and contributes to the understanding of the physical, biological, and human dimensions of these ecosystems. Chapters describe Southwestern forest ecosystems of the past, changes since the Colonial Period, and the implications of those changes for the health of current and future forests. Opportunities, tools, and research needs for improving ecosystem sustainability are also identified.