NCEAS Project 3960

Review of Forest Service Viability Assessment Processes

  • Sandy J. Andelman

NCEAS viabilty final report 1201 in PDF format

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group7th—10th December 2000Participant List  
Graduate Student1st January—30th June 2001Participant List  
Working Group23rd—24th February 2001Participant List  
Working Group27th—28th April 2001Participant List  
Working Group31st—31st May 2001Participant List  
Graduate Student1st January—31st March 2002Participant List  

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Abstract
The regulations implementing the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) direct the National Forests to provide habitat that will support viable populations of native and desired non-native vertebrate species well-distributed across National Forest lands. A proposed revision of these regulations would extend this requirement to additional species in the plant and animal kingdoms, but provide for significant qualifications in the way the requirement is applied to many species in recognition of the natural history and existing condition of those species and their habitat. Since the existing regulation went into effect in 1982, a variety of approaches has been used to meet the viability requirement. Approaches have ranged from opinon-based assessments of individual resource specialists to detailed habitat and demographic modeling. many Forest Plans have been challenged on either the adequacy of the management guidelines for species, or the adequacy of the process used to demonstrate that viability requirements have been met. The Forest Service is now making a renewed effort to provide consistent and high quality input to forest plans related to viability. The results of this external review will be used in the development of guidance to National Forests for addressing species viability in land and resource management plans.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Report or White Paper Andelman, Sandy J.; Beissinger, Steve; Cochrane, Jean F.; Gerber, Leah R.; Gomez-Priego, Paola; Groves, Craig; Haufler, Jon; Holthausen, Dick; Lee, Danny C.; Maguire, Lynn A.; Noon, Barry R.; Ralls, Katherine; Regan, Helen M. 2001. Scientific standards for conducting viability assessments under the National Forest Management Act: Report and recommendations of the NCEAS Working Group. (Online version)
Journal Article Andelman, Sandy J.; Groves, Craig; Regan, Helen M. 2004. A review of protocols for selecting species at risk in the context of US Forest Service viability assessments. Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology. Vol: 26. Pages 75-83.