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Managing Moist Forests of the Pacific Northwest United States for Climate Positive Outcomes

1
Pinchot Institute for Conservation, Washington, DC 20036, USA
2
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(10), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100618
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The moist forests of the Pacific Northwest United States (PNW) are among the most naturally carbon rich ecoregions in the world. However, regional in-forest carbon storage levels are currently well below ecological potential. Recent climate policy proposals have renewed and deepened debates over forest sector climate strategies. This paper begins with a review of regionally applicable forest carbon life cycle assessments (LCAs) in an effort to provide some clarity around how these studies are conducted, and why their results may vary. The review highlights the importance of assumptions made during carbon accounting across the wood product lifespan and how the inclusion or exclusions of variables, such as product substitution and leakage, influence study results and subsequent management recommendations. Next we discuss the influence of climate change on forest management and planning. We conclude with a review of regional-specific factors to consider when developing optimal forest climate strategies in the moist forests of the PNW. These strategies include, but are not limited to; extending harvest rotations, shelterwood and select tree harvests (in lieu of full harvest), and managing forests for increased structural, age, and species complexity. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest carbon; Pacific Northwest; Douglas fir; life-cycle assessment; substitution; climate smart forestry forest carbon; Pacific Northwest; Douglas fir; life-cycle assessment; substitution; climate smart forestry
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Fain, S.J.; Kittler, B.; Chowyuk, A. Managing Moist Forests of the Pacific Northwest United States for Climate Positive Outcomes. Forests 2018, 9, 618.

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