Research results from the Western Sustainable Forestry Program (WSFP) provide a scientific foundation for industry efforts to advance cost-effective approaches to conserving wildlife and biodiversity in managed forests.
The WSFP is managed by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. with supporting funds and wildlife research direction provided in part by three trade associations: American Forest Resources Council (AFRC), Oregon Forest and Industries Council (OFIC), and the Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA).
Activities of the WSFP are led by Dr. Jake Verschuyl, Director of Forestry Research – Western US and BC. Research funding provided through the trade association partnership is directed by industry representatives serving on the Western Sustainable Forestry Task Group and the Program Steering Committee (PSC). The 9 member PSC is comprised of representatives from AFRC, OFIC and WFPA.
Important functions of the PSC include (a) ensuring that WSFP wildlife research is properly aligned with strategic priorities of AFRC, OFIC and WFPA; and (b) coordinating efforts to obtain core regional funding support for industry led wildlife research studies. The PSC and the Western Sustainable Forestry Task Group provide budget recommendations annually to NCASI’s Forest Environment and Sustainability Task Group.
NCASI has made significant progress on a multi-year project to identify constructive ways in which the forest industry can actively contribute to conservation of woodland caribou populations on the lands it manages--an approach leveraging enhanced forest management to provide caribou habitat, rather than relying on protected areas alone as a method of conserving caribou.
NCASI supports multiple field research projects initiated to clarify survey methods, determine spotted owl responses to uneven-aged forest management, and evaluate spotted and barred owl responses to vegetation composition and structure from Washington through western Oregon and northern California.
NCASI’s research on influences of forestry on nutrition and habitat quality for elk primarily included two regions of the Pacific Northwest: the temperate rainforests of western Oregon and Washington, and the inland forests of eastern Oregon and Washington. The data again illustrate the benefits to elk from active forest management, particularly in the wetter forest habitats during summer in the inland region.