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A New Approach to Forest Restoration in the American Southwest

Many scientists, forest managers, political leaders, and concerned citizens agree that there is urgent need to protect human communities from severe wildfire events and to restore natural fire regimes and ecosystem function in forests of the American Southwest. However, given the high cost of using selective thinning and prescribed fire to restore even a few hundred acres, it is appropriate to question whether any given site-specific project is really the best use of the limited resources available. Forest Ecosystem Restoration Analysis (ForestERA) is a set of powerful tools that enables the public and professionals to work productively together to bring sound science and a landscape persepective to the management and conservaton of forested ecosystems and the protection of human communities from the threat of wildfire.

Seeing the Big Picture

The Forest Ecosystem Restoration Analysis Project is a collaborative process that views forest ecosystems from a landscape perspective to discover better ways to restore their health and protect our communities. Stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds, priorities, needs, and points of view work together in small groups using the best scientific information and tools available. Participants view spatial data in map form in order to weigh various fire, community, wildlife, watershed and other factors important in landscape-scale prioritization and decision-making. This process results in a detailed, integrated action plan that reflects multiple inputs, value and points of view.

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