Smith Fellows
Smith Fellow


Recently, biodiversity conservation strategies have shifted to collaborative efforts on large-scale landscapes that cross different ownership boundaries and management objectives. Emphasis is on sustaining dynamic ecological processes that support biodiversity. While logically appealing, this approach presents numerous challenges for implementation. It requires unprecedented coordination and collaboration among landowners that may have different values and objectives. Landowners must work together to better understand ecological processes and cumulative effects of site-level actions, along with finding creative solutions to management conflicts. Spatially explicit forest models are proposed as tools to address these challenges in collaborative forest landscape efforts. The proposed project will develop two different modeling tools to seek better ways to integrate biodiversity and timber management, using the Manitou Forest Collaborative in Minnesota as a test case. The modeling effort will look for creative ways to adjust the timing, type, spatial arrangement, and intensity of forest harvest and management activities to enhance both biodiversity and timber values in the 100,000-acre Manitou Landscape. In working with the Manitou Collaborative, the project will develop tools and test principles that will be broadly applicable to other landscape-scale conservation efforts.