Over the last few years, the mountain
pine beetle has shown once again that it is a powerful force of
forest disturbance. Strategies to minimize the negative impacts
of this natural disturbance must be developed and incorporated into
forest management plans. However, experience has shown us that for
management strategies to be robust they must be developed within
an ecosystem context and projected over relevant time and spatial
scales. FORECAST is a stand-level, hybrid ecosystem management simulation
model that acts as the foundation for the landscape-level simulation
programs PFF and LLEMS, and can be used as an ecosystem-based driver
of timber supply (e.g. ATLAS/FPS) and wildlife habitat supply (e.g.
SIMFOR) models. The predictive capacity of FORECAST is being
increased through the addition of dynamic mountain pine beetle,
fire, climate change, and wildlife habitat suitability components.
Together, these additions will greatly increase the power of FORECAST
as a tool for predicting possible effects of proposed forest management
activities within the context of risks of natural disturbance and
possible climate change.