Funded Research Projects: SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Optimizing Carbon, Timber and Cultural Values for Provision of Ecosystem Services in Alaskan Forests

Research Sponsored By: US Forest Service
Principal Investigator: Sándor F. Tóth
Project Description
We will design an approach to integrate carbon sequestration, timber production and provision of cultural ecosystem services to assist planning and decision making in National Forests in Southeast and South Central Alaska. The managers of the National Forests of Alaska are pursuing a number of diverse objectives that include but are not limited to the restoration of wildlife habitat, the creation and promotion of new recreational destinations, and the protection of wilderness and heritage sites. In addition, more pragmatic objectives are present such as the protection of forests from wildfires, scheduling harvests to meet local needs for fuelwood and contribution to the local economy. Lastly, the carbon stored in the Alaskan forests is a valuable asset that needs to be preserved. The complex interconnection of these management goals and objectives will be assessed using a multi-objective optimization model. In this project, we will build a model that will account for all the management objectives: timber harvest target, carbon sequestration and the provision of cultural ecosystem services. The prospective results of the modeling experiment will be used to analyze changes in the provision of the identified services under different management scenarios.