U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version



Bentrup, G. Schoeneberger, M.M., Dosskey, M.G., Wells, G., and Kellerman, T. 2005. Tool Time: Melding Watershed and Site Goals on Private Lands. In: Brooks, K.N. and Ffolliot, P.F. (eds) Moving Agroforestry in the Mainstream. Proc. 9th N. Am. Agroforest. Conf., Rochester, MN. 12-15 June 2005 [CD-ROM]. Dept. Forest Resources, Univ. Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 8 p.


Creating effective agroforestry systems with broad public support requires simultaneously addressing landowner and societal goals while paying respect to ecological processes that cross spatial and political boundaries. To meet this challenge, a variety of planning and design tools are needed that are straight-forward and flexible enough to accommodate the range of issues and the many individual decision-making processes involved. In this paper, we offer some principles that should be considered when developing planning and design tools for agroforestry. To illustrate how these principles might be used, we will present a few tools from the Comprehensive Conservation Buffer Planning project at the USDA National Agroforestry Center. At the regional scale, the Regional Atlas for Conservation Planning enables stakeholders to quickly review and incorporate a range of issues in their agroforestry planning effort. The landscape scale is supported by GIS-guided assessments addressing water quality, wildlife habitat, and income diversification options for landowners. The real value of these assessments is the ability to combine them to identify locations where multiple objectives can be achieved with a buffer investment. At the site scale, landowner’s economic and social concerns can be addressed with Buffer$, an economic analysis tool, and the CanVis Visual Simulation Kit, a computer-based visualization tool for creating photo-realistic simulations of buffer alternatives. Combining information generated by these tools can help planners and landowners to meld site and watershed goals on private lands.