21st century forest stewardship
I am exploring how we might steward forests during a period of profound environmental change.
Climate change and disturbance are a dominant force in conifer forests of the western United States and their prevalence will only grow during the 21st century. For example, wildfires are projected to occur more frequently in coming decades than at any other point in the last 10,000 years. It is not implausible that western forests could change fundamentally. This is a critical conservation concern because western forests provide many services (e.g., habitat for threatened species, carbon storage, and recreation opportunities). Western forest managers now face a daunting challenge. They must plan and implement forward-looking strategies to foster favorable social and ecological outcomes. My work uses a variety of modeling and econometric techniques to support managers in their endeavor. I have addressed a diverse range of social-ecological topics. These have included determining effects of climate change on the availability of fish and game species that are important to rural Alaskan communities, quantifying the effects of bark beetle outbreak and fire on property values in the wildland-urban interface, and most recently, studying how fire suppression in the west may influence 21st century fire and forests.
Selected publications related to these ideas
Hansen, W.D., Julie M. Mueller, Helen T. Naughton. 2014. Wildfire in hedonic property value studies. Western Economics Forum, 13:23-35.
Hansen, W.D. 2014. Generalizable principles for ecosystem stewardship-based management of social-ecological systems: Lessons learned from Alaska. Ecology and Society, 19:13.
Hansen, W.D., H. Naughton. 2013. The effects of a spruce bark beetle outbreak and wildfires on property values in the wildland-urban interface of south-central Alaska, USA. Ecological Economics, 96: 141-154.
Hansen, W.D., T.J. Brinkman, M. Leonawicz, F.S. Chapin, G.P Kofinas. 2013. Changing Daily Wind Speeds: Implications for a Subsistence Hunting System. Arctic, 66: 448-458.
Hansen, W.D., T.J. Brinkman, F.S. Chapin, C. Brown. 2013. Meeting indigenous subsistence needs: The case for prey switching in rural Alaska. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 18: 109-123.