Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

America’s public forests landlocked by sea of development

08.08.2005


America’s national forests are beginning to resemble "islands" of green wilderness, increasingly trapped by an expanding sea of new houses, a forestry researcher will report today at the 90th annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting in Montreal, Canada.



The widening circle of development around forests such as the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California is serving to block natural corridors, or wild "highways" that enable plants and wildlife to move easily between nearby forests, says Volker Radeloff, a forestry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Radeloff analyzed government census data on housing increases in and near all U.S. national forests between 1950 and 2000.

"(In an isolated state), a forest cannot function as well for biodiversity," says Radeloff, who conducted his analysis in collaboration with UW-Madison graduate students and the North Central Research Station of the United States Forest Service.


Radeloff’s findings also highlight significant growth within the forests themselves. Between 1950 and 2000, the number of housing units within national forest boundaries increased from 500,000 to 1.5 million, an increase Radeloff largely attributes to inholdings, or parcels of forest land owned by private citizens.

In the Eastern U.S., most land was settled before national forests were established in the late 1800s. As a result, private landowners hold up to 46 percent of the land within forest administrative boundaries. Nationwide, inholders own about 17 percent of all national forest lands, Radeloff says.

As more and more people desire to live with wilderness in their backyard, Radeloff says, forests may just be getting "loved to death."

"People think of a national forest as a place they can be in nature without seeing anyone else or where they could see a wolf," says Radeloff. If trends continue, he adds, these solitary moments and discoveries will be more and more difficult to experience.

Housing in and around forests not only affects biodiversity, it impacts hydrology cycles and accelerates the spread of invasive species. Wildfires and animal-human conflicts are added risks. "It is possible that the national forests may not suffice for some endangered species," says Radeloff.

Radeloff is not advocating a moratorium on building rural homes. "We are hoping to generate a broader discussion on how housing growth should occur," says Radeloff. "We need to decide areas where we want growth and other areas where we don’t want growth to occur."

When the 2010 government census data becomes available, Radeloff plans to repeat his analysis, providing updated housing growth information for citizens, governments and other researchers involved in land use planning.

"Historic trends are the best indication of what will happen in the future," says Radeloff. "We hope that this data will be used to start discussions on future development in and near national forests."

Volker Radeloff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>