In 2015, the Institute for Working Forest Landscapes (IWFL) awarded three collaborative projects approximately $750,000 in funding to explore how proactive management of forests can improve the health of rural communities and provide ecological integrity and long-term resilience of vital ecosystems.
Quantifying Trade-offs and Synergies between Ecosystem Services; Lead PI - Matt Betts
Using a long-term, large-scale manipulative experiment, the research aims to: quantify the effect of intensive forest management on biodiversity, determine how intensive forest management and biodiversity interact to affect ecosystem services (i.e., timber production, carbon sequestration, pollination), model stand and landscape-scale relationships between intensive forest management and multiple biodiversity components and ecosystem services, and examine public opinions and tradeoffs.
Opportunities for Biochar Production to Reduce Forest Wildfire Hazard, Sequester Carbon, and Increase Agricultural Productivity of Dryland Soils; Lead PI - John Sessions
The study aims to inform policy for Oregon and stakeholders by evaluating whether large-scale biochar production is technically feasible, logistically scalable, economically competitive, and environmentally beneficial at the landscape scale. If the outcome suggests biochar production meets these minimum criteria, the study could potentially trigger industrial interest in supporting the development of forest-to-farm biochar markets, benefiting rural economies that are typically based on forest and agricultural commodities.
Go Big or Go Home? Tools and Processes for Scaling Up Collaborative Forest Restoration; Lead PI - Emily Jane Davis
The project analyzes how forest collaboratives and Forest Service managers can successfully plan and manage at landscape scales, and determine how scientific research, participatory simulation modeling and innovations in collaborative participation can contribute to the processes.