PROGRAM TITLE: Human Activities and Natural Resource Changes (HUMANI) ACTIVITY STREAMS: Process/Model integration; Assessment. SCIENCE ELEMENT:
Human Interactions/Economics U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest ServiceDESCRIPTION: This program addresses the integration of human dimensions into global change: how changes in vegetation will affect human activities and how human activities, through resource management, will affect global change. Forest policy and carbon sequestration -- analysis of the potential impacts of alternative forestry policies on atmospheric CO2, including carbon emissions and sequestration in vegetation, soils, and wood products. Alternative forest management policies include harvest level and methods on public forests, recycling, wood products, tree planting, and urban forestry. Effects of land use and human disturbance on potential vegetation -- models that project changes in vegetation composition and growth as a consequence of climate change are evolving to integrate land use pattern and intensity of human disturbance with atmospheric effects. This effort overlays the human dimensions on potential vegetation maps, and highlights the feedbacks between social and biological systems. Effects of global change on forest resource outputs and values -- the effects of global change on forests, especially the transient effects, are expected to have a major impact on forest resource outputs and values to society. Research is underway to evaluate the effects of global change on (1) human uses of forests for recreation, water, and timber, (2) jobs and communities, (3) biological diversity and other forest amenities, and (4) public opinion and options for mitigating and adapting to change. Ecosystem management opportunities for mitigation and adaptation -- Appropriate response options for land managers to adapt or help mitigate global change effects are being identified, and the effects of such actions on the economy and on greenhouse gas concentrations will be quantified. Research is accomplished by developing integrated models of forest vegetation, forest products, and the economy. TERRA, an interagency laboratory, facilitates model integration and regional analysis through the application of systems analysis techniques. Research underway includes economic analyses of market and non-market effects, sociological case studies, and identification of historical relationships between climate change, ecosystems, and society. Products and performance measures are peer-reviewed publications, substantial contributions to national and international assessments, and interactions with regional and local stakeholders to resolve management issues. STAKEHOLDERS: Policy makers, land managers, timber producers and users, amenity users, other USDA agencies, other Federal agencies (DOE, EPA, NASA). SHORT-TERM POLICY PAYOFFS: Input to President's greenhouse gas emission policy; long-term strategic planning for natural resources.