Resilience in National Forest Planning

Recent federal forest and wildfire policies have increasingly united around a vision of restoring forest resilience in the face of destructive and expensive wildfires driven by altered forest conditions and climate change. But what does resilience mean, what does it take to plan for resilient landscapes, and what other factors complicate the achievement of resilient landscape outcomes? This research investigates how resilience has been operationalized within the U.S. Forest Service, what obstacles to achieving resilience have been identified, and what solutions appear to hold promise for overcoming the complexities of managing for resilience.


This research involved three elements:

  1.  A content analysis of Environmental Impact Statements;
  2.  A survey of USFS staff that have been involved in interdisciplinary planning efforts
  3.  Case studies of three national forests that have recently revised their forest plans



Working papers:

2020: Land Manager Experiences with Resilience in National Forest Planning and Management

2020: Planning and Managing for Resilience: Lessons from National Forest Plan Revisions

2017: Resilience in Land Management Planning: Policy Mandates, Approaches, and Resources


Quick Guide:

Scientific journal articles:

Abrams, J. 2019. The emergence of network governance in U.S. national forest administration: Causal factors and propositions for future research. Forest Policy and Economics 106: 101977.

Thomas J. Timberlake , Courtney A. Schultz , Alexander Evans & Jesse B. Abrams (2020): Working on institutions while planning for forest resilience: a case study of public land management in the United States, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. DOI:10.1080/09640568.2020.1817730

More coming soon!


Webinar of results:

Resilience in National Forest Planning. 2020. Presented by Jesse Abrams for the Southwest Fire Science Consortium and the Northwest Fire Science Consortium