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Public concerns for stewardship and conservation of biological diversity have caused a reduction in the timber supply in the Pacific Northwest on federal lands. This reduction in the availability of federal timber has resulted in an intensification of management activities on private forest lands. The reduced timber supply has also increased timber prices to the point that many nonindustrial private woodland owners, who previously were not interested in selling timber, have entered the market. This intensification of management activities on the private forest base has resulted in additional increased concerns for fish and wildlife species. Reliable and readily accessible information is crucial to the resolution of such concerns.
Elevated concerns for fish and wildlife species in forested habitats of the Pacific Northwest have resulted in considerable research and subsequent regulatory activity. However, forest managers, technical staff, policy makers, and the general public have difficulty accessing information concerning basic biology, habitat requirements, responses of fish and wildlife species to management activities, and implications of various strategies' for regulating such activities. Although information is available from a variety of sources including libraries, research centers, unpublished reports, and databases, the fragmented nature of these sources restricts accessibility to information needed for management and policy decisions. Currently, centers that provide these publics with credible, comprehensive, information are not well-known or easily accessible. The Oregon State University Forest Research Laboratory has proposed the development of a Forestry Fish and Wildlife Information Center (FFWIC) to fill this niche. The purpose of this paper is to present a plan for conducting a feasibility study for the FFWIC.