USFS Predictive Model Library: Fire and Timber Management

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The concept of ecosystem services has been formalized into U.S. Forest Service decision-making over the past decade in response to the 2012 Forest Planning Act and Agency regulations and directives, but many practical questions remain about how to do this most effectively. Many USFS decisions use scenarios to assess how different management approaches will meet different objectives and what the trade-offs might be. Often this is done using predictive models developed by the USFS. Some of the models commonly used by the USFS do not yet include many ecosystem services outcomes, but there are other predictive models designed for ecosystem services that might help fill such gaps. This project explores how these non-USFS models could be combined with existing USFS models to provide a fuller analysis of ecosystem services outcomes from different management scenarios. We used an ecosystem service conceptual model as a framework to examine the utility of currently available predictive models for quantifying the effects of fire and timber management on ecosystem services and socioeconomic outcomes.






Warnell, Katie, Lydia Olander, Taylor Minich, Allison Killea and Fizzy Fan (2020). USFS Predictive Model Library: Fire and Timber Management. Retrieved from



Katie Warnell

Senior Policy Associate

Katie Warnell is a senior policy associate for the Ecosystem Services Program. She is a graduate of Duke University’s Master of Environment Management program with a concentration in ecosystem science and conservation and was awarded a geospatial analysis certificate. She has served as an intern at the Triangle Land Conservancy and as a research tech with the Duke University Superfund Research Center. She has conducted research on South Africa’s bats with the Organization for Tropical Studies and was involved in a DukeEngage project on fish farming in Ecuador.


Lydia Olander

Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Lydia Olander is a program director at the Nicholas Institute for Energy Environment & Sustainability at Duke University and adjunct professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. She works on improving evidence-based policy and accelerating implementation of climate resilience, nature-based solutions, natural capital accounting, and environmental markets. She leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership and sits on Duke’s Climate Commitment action team. She recently spent two years with the Biden administration at the Council on Environmental Quality as Director of Nature based Resilience and before that spent five years on the Environmental Advisory Board for the US Army Corps of Engineers. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and widely published researcher. Prior to joining the Nicholas Institute, she spent a year as an AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow working with Senator Joseph Lieberman on environmental and energy issues. She was a college scholar at Cornell University and earned her Master of Forest Science from Yale University and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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