Integrating Ecological and Socioeconomic Monitoring of Working Forests

This is an interesting paper from the August 2011 issue of BioScience. Be sure to check it out!

RACHEL A. NEUGARTEN, STEVEN A. WOLF, RICHARD C. STEDMAN, AND TIMOTHY H. TEAR

Large-scale sell-offs of industrial timberlands in the United States have prompted public and private investments in a new class of “working forest” land deals, notable for their large size and complex divisions of property rights. These transactions have been pitched as “win-win-win” deals that provide social, economic, and ecological benefits. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in these transactions, we found a paucity of evidence that their supposed benefits are being realized. Monitoring programs necessary to gather such evidence tend to be underfunded, short term, and focused on a limited set of indicators. The few projects with more comprehensive monitoring programs had long-term funding sources, formal mechanisms for incorporating data into subsequent management decisions, and combined multidisciplinary monitoring techniques. We propose that a relatively modest allocation of funds to monitoring could help assessand hopefully improvethe effectiveness of current and future transactions, to see if the promise of “win-win-win” is actually delivered.

BioScience6l: 631-637. ISSN 0006-3568, electronic ISSN 1525-3244. © 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press’s Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/ reprintinfo.asp. doi:10.1525/bio.2011.61.8.10 www.biosciencemag.org August 2011 / Vol. 61 No. 8 • BioScience

CaRDI’s Community and Economic Vitality Award

The 2011 CaRDI Community and Economic Vitality Award will be presented on October 18 in conjunction with a seminar entitled, “How will rural areas contribute to America’s energy transitions?”.

According to the press release by Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI), this award is being present to the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Marcellus Shale Team. The team of nine has two members of the Department of Natural resources: Rich Stedman, Associate Professor, and Jeffrey Jacquet, Ph.D. candidate.

The team was formed in 2008 and “represents a diversity of disciplines and perspectives within a framework of cooperation and collaboration to support informed decision making around the complexity of issues associated with Marcellus Shale development.”

Read more about the award and the CCE Marcellus Shale team here.

Welcome

Dear DNR Students, Alums, Friends, Faculty, and Staff,

Welcome to the DNR blog with updates about DNR happenings and accomplishments. Things you can expect to read about over the next month include: an international conference on watershed management held in Beijing China and organized by DNR Associate Professor Rebecca Schneider, an article in Bioscience calling for monitoring to track progress in new working forests, a conversation between Associate Professor Rich Stedman and representatives of the World Economic Forum, and an invitation to follow DNRs new Twitter site.

Although we are launching the blog with updates from faculty, we invite all of you to send us short updates that are of interest to the DNR community. Please send your entries with a title, one-sentence overview, one paragraph description, and photo (optional) to Meghan Baumer at dnr_social_media@cornell.edu. We will get back to you if we have any questions; if you dont hear from us watch for your entry on a future DNR blog post.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Marianne Krasny

Chair, Department of Natural Resources