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2 THE REGION AND ITS FORESTS /NTRODUCT/ON This chapter presents a brief history of the development of the Pacific Northwest region in relation to its forests and their uses, a current demographic and economic profile of the region in relation to its forests, and a short description of the forests themselves. The region's forests are complex and vary depending on precipitation, soils, elevation, disturbance patterns (e.g., fire, wind, disease, and insect infestations), management, and use. The forests are traversed by transportation and communication networks and are separated In places by broad expanses of cropland, rangeland, and urban areas. They consist of a mix of ownerships, public and private, that have been subjected to quite different management regimes (Table 2-~. A BRIEF M/STORY The current status of the forests, the forest industry, or the society of the Pacific Northwest can be understood only in the context of its history. Humans have probably been altering the ecology of forests in the Pacific Northwest for more than a millennium (USES 1993a). For example, on the east side of the Cascade Range, American Indians burned the hillsides to improve the production of black mountain huckleberries, blueberries, and grouseberries. Those fires created openings that attracted deer and elk. The landscape was changed further by the 1SOOs, when native peoples in the interior Northwest acquired large numbers 27

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The Region and Its Forests Z9 of horses. Although Me IncLians may have altered the landscape in some areas, the consequences were probably minor in comparison with natural disturbances such as fire, storms, and drought. The first European pioneers into the Pacific Northwest followed the river valleys: today, most major cities are along those same transportation routes. With the arrival of white settlers in the early 1SOOs, changes in the region accelerated. Forests were cut to clear lancT for houses, farms, and towns. Timber, minerals, hycEroelectric power, fish, range livestock, tourism, and agriculture ah played important roles in the regions development. The federal government also played an important role in the development of the region's resources. To encourage settlement of the Pacific Northwest, resources on public lands and the land itself often were given away or sold at low prices, as was true throughout the West. In the case of hydroelectric power and irrigated agriculture, the federal taxpayer bore much of the cost of development. The basic patterns of land ownership and subsequent use were established in the micl-nineteenth century. Federal public-ctomain lands acquired in the Oregon Compromise of 1846 were sold or granted to encourage settlement and development of the region. Still other lands were reserved from disposition to form national parks and national forests, and Indian reservations were established in treaties between the United States and sovereign Indian nations. Large areas were transferred to the states or private ownership (Gates 1968~. Statehood grants to support schoolstwo sections) per township of 36 sections have for the most part been retained by the states and are managed In trust for the schools. But other grants to the states for railroads, wagon roads, and other internal improvements, as well as swamplands, were generally sold to settlers and others. The total area of grants to state governments was substantial: 7.9% of Idaho, 11.4% of Oregon, and 7.1% of Washington. In ac[dition, substantial areas went directly into private ownership under various laws, including the homestead acts, the 1878 Timber and Stone Act, and the IS50 Oregon Donation Act. Land grants directly to railroads have had a major effect on forest land-use patterns (Gates 1968~. The Northern Pacific Railroad received lone section is 1 square mile or 640 acres.

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30 Pacific Northwest Forests a grant of 40 alternate sections (25,600 acres) for each mile of railroad across Montana, Idaho, and Washington in a band as much as 60 miles wide on both sides of the right-of-way. Some of that land in forested areas was sold to timber companies, ancL some is still held by timber firms descended directly from the original companies. Those sales and other grants to railroads in the region created large regions of checkerboard ownerships, where alternate sections of private lands are intermingled with federal forest lands. In Oregon, 2,891,000 acres of a grant to the Oregon and California Railroad was revested to the federal government in 1916 when the company failecE to meet the terms of the grant (Gates 1968~. About 93,000 acres of a grant to the Coos Bay Wagon Roacl were also returned to the federal government in 1919 (Richardson 1980~. Those two areas, together with a small amount of forest land that was never appropriated for private use and was not included in areas reserved for national forests, make up the highly productive Oregon forests managed by the Bureau of Trance Management (BEM). Today, about half the land in the Pacific Northwest is in public ownership, and most of that land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and BEM. State governments and a variety of other federal agencies also manage public lands in the region. AmericanIndian tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BlA), manage large tracts of land on reservations scattered throughout the region (Table 2-~. Private owners have holdings that range in size from small woodIots to millions of acres of industrial forests owned by large corporations. The forest resources in the Pacific Northwest have provided income and basic materials for a growing population. The U.S. National Resources Committee called forests "the chief means of payment for the products of other areas" (USNRC 1938), and forests were the most important factor in the development of the Pacific Northwest through the m~-1930s. Although the main economic commodities from forests are timber and timber products, Pacific Northwest forests provide a variety of other goods and amenities, such as wildlife, recreation, water, wilderness, edible berries and mushrooms, ornamental plant materials, and medicines. By the early twentieth century, the Pacific Northwest had become the country's leading {umber-producing region (USNRC 1938~; by 1930, forest industries provided 41% of the value of the regents net exports.

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The Region and Its Forests 37 The clom~nance of forest products was even greater in Oregon and Washington, where they accounted for 64% and 54% of the value of the net exports, respectively. Increasing affluence after World War IT lecl to a large increase In We demand for wood. Forests began to be viewed as renewable resources capable of supplying a more or less continuous flow of timber, thereby eliminating the boom-and-bust cycles that had characterized the logging industry before the war. In the 1960s, forest management became more intensive, with many forest owners looking for ways to increase yields and shorten rotations (the intervals between harvests). Management strategies such as artificial regenerationmainly tree plantingbecame common practice; this was followed in the 1970s by other strategies, including tree breeding for genetic improvement, fertilization, thinning, and pruning. New logging practices were developed to lower costs of logging and road building. The place of federal forests in supplying timber for the wood- procLucts industry in the Pacific Northwest has varied. Private forests provided most of the timber until the 1950s. During the 1930s, the timber industry actually lobbied to hoict down federal timber harvests in western Oregon because of fears about their possible effect on private timb e r p r ic e s (Robbing ~ 985; Richardson 1980; Steen 1976~. Federal forests provided an increasing share of the region's timber harvests after World War TI as lumber and plywood production grew to meet the demand for residential construction. From 1952 to 1976, total softwood timber harvests in the region increased by 37%, but harvests from the national forests went up by 87% (USFS 1982~. Prompted in part by concern over the rapid increase in national forest timber harvests, Congress passed the Multiple-Use, Sustained-Yield Act in 1960, which, among other Wings, carried the tacit promise that timber harvest levels would be maintained into the future (Steen 1976; Hagenstein 1992~. Historically, most people in the timber industry thought of sustained yield only in terms of wood; many still do (Hammond 1991; USFS 1991~. But the multiple-use mandate extended Today, about half the /and in the Pacific Northwest is in public ownership, ant/ most of that /anc/ is managed by the... USFS ant/ BEM.

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32 Pacific Northwest Forests to resources and uses other than just wood, including wilderness, outdoor recreation, wildlife and fish, and grazing (NRC 1990, 1998~. Throughout the post-WorId War IT era, future timber supplies were a concern in the Pacific Northwest, especially in view of the increasing share coming from the nationalforests. The research branch of the USES examined the implications of the expected change from harvesting mainly old-growth timber in the Douglas-fir subregion to relying on second-growth timber. It appeared certain that public forests would have to provide an increasing share of the region's timber harvest if the totalharvest were to be maintained (USFS 1963~. Harvests from rational forests in the region, however, were constant from 1960 until about 1990. Some strenuous efforts were made to increase these harvests substantially, but the USFS generally resisted those efforts and held firm to its nondeclining, even-flow policy. But even without increases in timber harvests, it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a constant yield of timber from the federal forests. Shortly after the sustained-yield policy was established in law, Congress began chipping away at the potential contribution of the national forests to the timber supply, first with the Wilderness Act of 1964, and then with a series of other designations that effectively withdrew parts of the national forests from timber production (Leshy 1992~. Despite such restrictions on the timber supply, the region's total output of wood products has increased since 1950. Lumber production reached its highest level in 1946 and stayed close to that level through the late 1980s. Plywood production increased rapidly after World War II, although it has fallen from its peak in the 1970s. Log exports were a minor drain on the region's forests until about 1970 but accounted for 10-15% of the region's timber harvests from then to the late 1980s. Although total wood-product output has increased since 1950, timber harvests have not increased as rapidly because of steady decreases in the waste of timber used in processing (Adams et al. 1988~. Despite relatively heavy harvests over the past several decades, substantial timber volumes remain on lands in all ownership categories (Waddell et al. 1989~. In 1992, the average volume of sawtimber (trees suitable for making lumber or plywood) in forests available for timber harvesting in Oregon and Washington was more than 1S,000 board feet per acre (Table 2-2~.

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The Region and Its Forests TABLE 2-2. Average Volume ~ Board Feet of Sawtimber Per Acre by Ownership Category, 1992 Boar~feet . Idaho Oregon Washington National forest 10,475 20,453 24,198 Other public 9,615 2S,941 22,086 Forest industry 8,462 10,736 14,875 Other private 6,281 7,794 8,809 Source: USES 1993a. 33 This compared with about 3,900 board feet per acre in the southern United States. Of the Pacific Northwest's total timber not formally reserved from harvest, private lands had 29%, national forests had 52%, and other public lands had 19%. DEMOGRAPHICS AND THE ECONOMY Population Growth Since 1970, the Pacific Northwest has undergone numerous dramatic changes, including economic and cultural changes and significant increases in human population. Today, about 4% of the U.S. population lives In the Pacific Northwest. A wave of immigration began shortly after World War TI when large numbers of people moved to the Pacific Northwest, mostly to its two largest metropolitan areas, Seattle and Portland. A second wave of immigrants, this time largely retirees, began in the mid-1970s. Communities with distinctive recreational and aesthetic assets, such as coastal towns like Brookings and Brandon in Oregon, anct inland communities like Bend, Oregon, and Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, grew rapidly. By the 1980s, the Pacific Northwest was adding to its population at a rate of I.9% per year, twice the U.S. national average of 0.99% (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1990~. The metropolitan areas and cities on the Westside account for most of the population of the Pacific Northwest and dominate the region's economy (see Figure 2-1 and Figure 2-2~. Westside residents earn most of the regions personal income: 69.4%. The economic and demographic

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34 Pacific Northwest Forests Population Per Square Mile1995 250-1,000,000 100-249 50-99 25-49 10-24 5-9 1-4 Coo FIGURE 2-~. Population in the Pacific Northwest.

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The Region and Its Forests Westside 64.9% Eastside 12.6% 14.8% a) 1991 Population Califomia 7.7% Westside 69.4% _ Rockies Eastside 1 0.7% 1 3.3% Califomia 6.6% by Total personal income FIGURE 2-2. a) 1991 population and b) total personal income, by subregions. Data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Areas included are Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and counties in California and counties in Montana. 35 dominance of the Westside has concentrated political strength and recreation demandin that area. Across the Pacific Northwest, increasing urbanization has coincided with a shift in public values greater absolute demand for nonwood forest products (such as environmental amenities, wildlife, parks, recreation, and wilderness) and greater demancl for nonwood forest products relative to wood products and other extractive uses of forest lands. Economic /mp/ications of Population Growth Rapid population growth has been accompanied by two significant changes in the regional economy. First, the aging of the population and growing numbers of retirement-age immigrants has increased the importance of nonIabor income (e.g., interest and dividends). The second major change in the regional economy is its diversification. The

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36 Pacific Northwest Forests proportion of total personal income generated by the wood products industry cleclineci from 6% in 1971 to 3% in 1992. At the same time, other manufacturing industries increased their shares of total personal income, in sharp contrast to the national trend toward decreased importance for manufacturing. Adjusted for inflation, personal income in We Pacific Northwest has risen at an annual rate of 3.2% since 1971. This reflects very strong growth in nonlabor income sources (4.5% annually) and more moderate growth in labor-derived income (2.7%~. The regional economy of the Pacific Northwest is remarkably similar to the that of the nation. Manufacturing industries account for nearly the same total share of the gross product (the value of all goods and services produced) for the Pacific Northwest as for the nation (approximately 19% in 1990~. Transportation, communications, public utilities, and trade in the region produced 33.6% of the gross regional product; it was 32.4% of the gross national product. The Pacific Northwest is less reliant on service industries than the nation as a whole15.7% of the gross reg~onalproduct compared with 17.9% of the gross national product. Even with changes in the regional economy, the forest products industry is an important exportbase. The region's sharemore than $16 billionof the nation's total annual value of shipments by the lumber and wood products industry is about 6 times the region's share based on indicators of demand for wood products, such as population, personal income, and value of construction contracts (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1978; U.S. Department of Commerce 1993~. This is a strong indication of the importance of wood products as a source of income for the region. The regiona/ economy of the Pacific Northwest is remarkably similar to the that of the nation. THE REGION S FORESTS Westside Forests The Cascade Mountains are largely responsible for the temperate climate and generally moist conditions on the Westside. Much of this

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The Region and Its Forests 37 area receives more than 254 cm of precipitation per year. Precipitation is strongly seasonal, with 75% occurring between November and March, with only small amounts between June and October. Because hardwoods are less drought tolerant, the pattern of winter rain and summer drought favors growth of conifers over hardwoods (Waring and Franklin 1979~. The moist climate west of the Cascade crest also makes fires infrequent and fire-return intervals relatively long and highly variable. Coastal areas have dense temperate rainforests dom~natecl by Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophyZZa), western red cedar (Thuja pZicata), and grand fir (Abies grandlis) and Pacific silver fir (Abies amabiZZis) in the north, grading into rec~wood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests in southern Oregon ancE northern California. Interior areas are predominantly western hemlock, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and western red cedar up to midelevations in the Cascades. Rect alder (AZnus rubra) is common at recently disturbed sites, anct western rec3 cedar is characteristic of particularly wet areas. True firs (Abies) and mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) dominate at higher elevations (Franklin and Dyrness 1973~. The Klamath and Siskyou mountains of southwestern Oregon and northern California have very old and diverse exposed strata and an east-west orientation of ridges that funnel weather patterns inland. Those factors ant! the intersection of several vegetative zones make this possibly the most biologically diverse section of the United States (Whittaker 1960~. Gradients in species composition with elevation and aspect are particularly pronounced here, with mesic assemblages at upper elevations and on northern slopes and arid assemblages at lower elevations and on southern slopes (Whittaker 1961~. The amount of Douglas-fir relative to western hemlock in an area depends on disturbance, especially fire, and on the amount of moisture. Where fires occur at intervals of 100 to 400 years, Douglas-fir is dominant. Tess frequent fires (intervals of more than 600 years) favor hemlock forests (Agee 1993; Huff 1984~. In moist areas, hemlock may also predominate. The midelevation (1,000 to 2,500 m) forests on the Westside are dominated by Douglas-fir, western hemlock, Pacific silver fir, noble fir (Abies procera), and red fir (Abies magnifica). At lower elevations, Douglas-fir and western hemlock also can be present, and at higher elevations, mountain hemlock and yellow cedar (ChamaecJparis

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38 Pacific Northwest Forests noolkatensis) are common. Above 2,500 meters, the subalpine forests have open canopies of mountain hemlock (associated with loc~gepole pine (Pinus contorta), whitebark pine (Pinus aZbicauZis), and other fir species); in more continental climes and on the east slopes, subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) (associated with Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii)), lodgepole pine, whitebark pine, and incense cedar are common. The Douglas-fir/hardwood and Douglas-fir forests are characteristic of areas in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon, with the latter forest type extending along the east slope of the Cascades (Agee 1991~. The upper canopy is predominately Douglas-fir; tanoak (Lithocarpus rlensiforus), canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), golden chinquapin(Castanea pumila), and Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) make up the understory. Eastside Forests The landscape and its vegetation are highly varied on the eastside of the Cascade range. The highest mountain elevations (more than 2,500 m) have harsh temperatures, and high winds limit the number of species. Below 2,500 m, frequent drought and fuel accumulation favor short fire- return intervals (including low-intensity surface fires) (Agee 1993~. The Eastside receives an average of 25-51 cm of rainfaD annually and as much as S) cm at higher elevations, such as in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains north of the Snake River. Some of the subalpine forests of the WestsicLe also extend east of the Cascade crest. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests are characteristic of the lower elevations of the eastern Cascade Mountains and intermountain ranges and extend to lower elevation grasslands and shrublands. The forests often have open canopies with a heterogeneous understory of grasses and shrubs. Lodgepole pine is typically found at higher, moist elevations. The importance of fire in this zone is well established (Franklin and Dyrness 1973~. Suppression of fire over the past century in these forests has favored growth of the shrubby understory species and invasion of shade tolerant firs and Douglas-fir. Well east of the Cascades, western white pine (Pinus monticoZa) forest extends from southern Canada to the Locksa Divide in central Idaho, east on better soils into northwestern Montana, and west to a boundary

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The Region and Its Forests 39 with ponderosa pine in western Idaho and eastern Washington (Larsen 1930~. Much of the original white pine forest has been logged or killed by white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicoZa), an introduced pathogen. The white pine forest is richer in plant species than any other forest type in the region east of the Cascades (Larsen 1930~. Various other conifer species commonly grow with white pine, particularly shade-tolerant species, such as western red ceclar, western hemlock, grand fir, and Engelmann spruce. The grand fir zone extends along the eastern Cascade Mountains and the Blue Mountains into somewhat drier areas. Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine are common with grand fir in this zone; Douglas-fir tends to be more prevalent in Idaho. Ponderosa pine, western larch(Larix occidentaZis), lodgepole pine, western red cedar and western hemlock are also typical of this zone (Frenke} 1993~. A white fir (Abies concoZor) zone, with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, extends from the Sierra Nevada north into the eastern Cascades of Oregon. It gracLes into forests dominated by red fir at higher elevations. Northern Rocky Mountains The Northern Rocky Mountain area is an extremely complex ecosystem with regard to climate, substrate' and biota. From the west, elevations increase eastward to the Bitterroot Divide, then decrease eastward into Montana, fmally increasing again toward the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. Weather systems usually originate over the Pacific Ocean southwest of the region, and there are rain shadows (areas on the leeward side of mountains) between the Cascade range and the Bitterroot range and east of the Bitterroot range. Annual precipitation decreases progressively toward the southern portions of the region, as well as from higher to lower elevations (Franklin and Dyrness 1973~. About half of the annual precipitation is snow, and precipitation is light in summer. There is a north-south gradient in climate: northern areas are more maritime and southern areas are more continental in climate. Steep mountainous slopes create a dramatic solar-energy flux with large diurnal temperature variations. Cold-air masses collect in drainages and valley bottoms, often creating an inversion of the normal vegetation gradients.

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40 Pacific Northwest Forests The forests of this ecoregion are influenced by catastrophic, stand- destroying wildfires. This area includes the western red cedar zone and extensions of the grand fir, Douglas-fir, and ponderosa pine zones. Western hemlock, grand fir, and western red cedar communities dominate the more mesic northern portions of the region, and {odgepole pine, Douglas-fir, and ponderosa pine forests are common farther south. High-elevation forests include subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce communities, with lodgepole and whitebark pine communities also common. Quaking aspen is widely distributed across the region but is most common in the drier forests to the south. The zone in northern Idaho and western Montana is predominantly western red cedar, western hemlock, and western white pine. Grand fir and western larch are found in drier sites. REGIONAL OWNERSHIP PATTERNS Forest landownership is important because of the degree of control over management that can be exercised by the owner, the differences among owners in their objectives, and the regulations to which the owners are subject. The region's forest ownership pattern was establishect early as population centers and transportation corridors were developect, public- domain lands were granted to the states ancE railroads, Indian reservations were created, and the major federal land systems (national forests and parks) were reserved from the public domain. Those patterns are unlikely to be changed greatly in the foreseeable future, although clevelopment is sure to spread. Five broad ownership categories are especially relevant: federal, other public (mainly state), Indian, forest industry, and nonindustrial private. Of the federal forest lancts, the national forests are most extensive, but the BEM holdings and the national parks are also important for issues addressed in this report. Forests on Indian reservations, which are private but sometimes viewed as quasi public, are important in the region because they are fairly extensive. State-owned forests are of moderate importance, except in Washington, where they are extensive and have been consolidated to a substantial extent. The two big categories of private forest land, forest-incLustry and nonindustrial, are important not only because they are extensive and are managed to meet

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The Region and Its Forests 47 various private objectives, but also because of their juxtaposition with fecleral forest lands. Congress has used its plenary authority over the federal lands to designate national parks, wilderness areas, wild ancE scenic rivers, national recreation areas, and other kiwis of jurisdictions and uses. Many of these were created from forest land in national forests. Although Congress was specific in setting uses of these designated areas, it has left the allocation of land uses on the remaining national forest and the BEM holdings to the various lanct- management agencies. USES and the Bl M allocate land uses under broad multiple-use statutory guidelines that give the agencies wide discretion in determining specific uses or mixtures of uses. The planning process identifies streamside and scenic influence zones, special wildlife habitat, and intensive recreational-use areas, as well as timber management and harvest areas. Public involvement in this planning is intended to ensure land allocations and other management decisions reflect broad public interests. Plans are reviewed every 10 to 15 years to allow adjustment for changing conditions. The various reserves2 and riparian zones that are emerging as part of the Northwest Forest Plan will override allocations in existing plans, but not the congressional designations of national wilderness areas, parks, ancl recreational areas. Most of the state-owned forest lanct in the region was granted to support schools as part of statehood acts. Acting as trustees for the schools, the states generally manage the lands to maximize income from timber production. As other demands on the lands have mounted, the states have responded with management plans that recognize recreational, environmental protection, and other uses, even where those might compete with timber production. Five broad ownership categories are especia//y relevant: feciera/, other public (mainly state), /nclian, forest in c/ustry, and n on industria/ private. 2For the purposes of this report, a reserve is any public land on which commercial timber harvest is prohibited, such as wilderness areas, national parks, and the reserves created in the NFP.

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42 Pacific Northwest Forests Under its trust responsibility for managing forests on Indian reservations, the federal government (through the Bureau of Indian Affairs) works with some tribal governments in planning the use ancl management of Indian forests. BlA tends to see its responsibility as maximizing income for the tribe, which usually translates to an emphasis on timber production wherever possible. The tribes, on the other hand, are often more interested in cultural values (IFMAT 1993~. Many tribes with large areas of forest plan and conduct their own forest management programs and also work with federal, state, and local governments to manage lands affected by the Endangered Species Act and other federal acts. On private forest land, each owner decides on the uses and management. Forest-industry firms tend to take a fairly long-range view in selecting management goals and programs. The objectives of nonindustrial private forest owners are more variable. Ownership tencEs to be less stable and the time perspective shorter than for industry firms (NRC 1998~. And statewide land-use controls, such as those of the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission, can limit an owner's ability to change from forest to nonforest uses, although such controls typically do not require the owner to devote the land to particular forest uses (Diamond and Noonan 1996~. The mix of ownerships and purposes for which forests are managed and used in the Pacific Northwest amplifies the effects of the natural patchiness of forest landscapes. The intermingling of forests and ownerships presents a complicated situation for management of Pacific Northwest forests. SUMMAR Y Human activities have changed the face of the Pacific Northwest considerably. Today's landscape is a mix of public and private lands put to cliverse uses; the Pacific Northwest is well known for its checkerboard! ownership patterns. Reducing ownership fragmentation of existing and proposed reserves on federal lands would improve management of lands for multiple uses and is well recognized (NRC 1993~. Many mechanisms (e.g., conservation easements, land trusts, land tracLes, and dedications) have been attempted for a variety of

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The Region and Its Forests 43 purposes, sometimes to increase the representation of old-growth forest types that are underrepresented on the landscape. But land trades and similar mechanisms often are controversial, and many groups believe the government is not receiving equitable treatment in those transactions. The major challenges for forest ecosystem management in the Pacific Northwest lie less in resolving the problems of the past than in anticipating the changes of the future. Development of the Pacific Northwest during this century has relied heavily on the array of resourcestimber, domestic water, salmon, and recreationprovided by federal forests. Natural resources will play a prominent role in the future as wellthe 1994 population is expected to have doubled by 2030.