United States
Protection Agency
Office of Research
and Development
Washington, DC 20460
EPA 600/R-02/045(a)
      August 2002
  Environmental Assessment Approach that Facilitates Consensus Building
Alternative futures analysis is an environmental assessment
approach for helping communities make decisions about
land and water use. Its role is to provide a long-term, large-
area perspective on the combined effects of the multiple pol-
icies and regulations affecting the quality of the environment
and natural resources within a geographic area.
The alternative  futures process helps community members
articulate and understand their different viewpoints, priori-
ties, and goals.  The product of the process is a suite of alter-
native "visions" for the future expressed as maps of land use
and land cover that reflect the likely outcomes of the options
being advocated. Potential effects of these alter-
native futures are then evaluated for a
wide array of ecological and
socio-economic end-
points (i.e., things people
care about). By capturing the
essential elements of a complex
debate in a fairly small number of
alternative futures, and combining them
with an objective evaluation of the consequen-
ces of each choice, this process can help groups
move toward common understanding, and possible reso-
lution and collective action.
Here we summarize results from an alternative futures analy-
sis conducted in the Willamette River Basin in western Ore-
gon. The project was funded by the U.S. Environmental Pro-
tection Agency  (EPA) and conducted by the Pacific North-
west Ecosystem Research Consortium, consisting of scien-
tists from EPA,  Oregon State University, and the University
of Oregon. More details on the project can be obtained from
Hulse et al. (2002); data can be downloaded from
Why the Willamette River Basin?
The Willamette River drains an area of nearly 30,000 km2
between the Cascade and Coast Range Mountains in western
Oregon (Figure 1). Although the Basin accounts for only 12%
of the land area in Oregon, it produces 31% of the State's
timber harvests and 45% of the market value of agricultural
products, and is home to 68% of Oregon's population. At the
same time, the Basin contains the richest native fish fauna in
the State and supports several species federally listed as
threatened or endangered, including the northern spotted owl,
 spring Chinook salmon, and summer steelhead trout.
 Two-thirds of the Basin is forested, predominately in upland
 areas. Much of the lowland valley area has been converted to
 agricultural use (43% of the valley area) and urban and rural
 development (11%). Oregon's three largest cities, Portland,
 Salem, and Eugene-Springfield, are located in the Valley,
 adjacent to the Willamette River. About 2.0 million people
 lived in the Basin in 1990. By 2050, the Basin population is
 expected to nearly double, placing tremendous demands on
                         Figure 1. Willamette River Basin.
 limited land and water resources and creating major chal-
 lenges for land and water use planning.
 Recognizing the need for an integrated strategy for develop-
 ment and conservation, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
 initiated several basin-wide planning efforts in the mid-
 1990s. Kitzhaber created the Willamette Valley Livability
 Forum in 1996 to develop and promote a shared vision for
 enhancing the livability of the Basin (http://www.wvlf.org).
 Members of the Forum were selected by the Governor to
 represent the cross-section of interests in the Basin. Members
 included private citizens, as well as representatives of indus-
 try and business, nonprofit organizations,  and local, state,
 federal, and tribal governments.
 The Willamette Restoration Initiative was established in
 1998 to develop a basin-wide strategy to protect and restore
 fish and wildlife habitat, increase populations of declining
 species, enhance water quality, and properly manage flood-
                                             WRB Executive Summary

plain areas - all within the context of human habitation and
continued basin growth (http://www.oregonwri.org). The
Forum and Restoration Initiative served as the primary
clients ("stakeholders") for the alternative futures analysis,
providing input into design of the futures and, hopefully,
benefiting from the results.

Overview of the Alternative Futures Process
An alternative futures analysis involves three basic compo-
nents or steps (Figure 2): (1) characterizing the current and
historical landscape in the area and the trajectory of
landscape change to date, (2) developing two or more alter-
native "visions" or scenarios for the future landscape that
reflect varying assumptions about land and water use and the
range of stakeholder viewpoints, and (3) evaluating the
likely effects of these landscape changes and alternative
futures on ecological and socio-economic endpoints.
The current landscape of the Basin (ca. 1990) was character-
ized, using satellite imagery  to assess land cover and
additional data on land use, as a map with 64 classes of land
use and land cover. Based on historical data and survey
records, we also mapped (1) pre-EuroAmerican settlement
vegetation in the Basin (ca. 1850), (2) Willamette River
channel and riparian vegetation for 1850,  1895, 1932, and
1995, and (3) human population densities in the Basin in
                        1850, 1930, 1970, and 1990. These historical reconstructions
                        provide important information about bio-physical and socio-
                        economic processes that may constrain future landscapes,
                        and also provide stakeholders with a better perspective for
                        interpreting the significance of projected future changes.
                        The future landscapes were designed with stakeholder input to
                        illustrate major strategic choices. They were not intended as
                        predictions, but rather to bracket the range of plausible policy
                        options. Oregon has a strong statewide program for land use
                        planning and a history of conservation-oriented policies.
                        However, some stakeholders believed that even greater
                        emphasis on natural resource protection and restoration was
                        warranted to counteract continued loss of natural habitats and
                        decline in native species as human populations in the Basin
                        expand. Other stakeholders, in contrast, felt that current land
                        and water use policies were too restrictive, unnecessary, and
                        an infringement on individual property rights. This basic
                        dichotomy in stakeholder viewpoints, between a desire for
                        greater environmental conservation versus the desire for more
                        personal freedom, set the stage for scenario development.
                        Three alternative futures were designed and projected at 10-
                        year time steps through the year 2050. Plan Trend 2050
                        represented the expected future landscape should current
                        policies be implemented as written and recent trends continue.
                        Development 2050 reflected a loosening of current policies,
           of Change


  Plan Trend
                                 Willamette Valley  -
                                  Livability Forum
                               Willamette Restoration
  Terrestrial wildlife
(habitat, abundance)

  Water availability
      and use

  Stream condition
 (fish, invertebrates)

   River condition
    (habitat, fish)
Figure 2. Alternative futures analysis process, as applied in the Willamette River Basin.
                                               WRB Executive Summary 

to allow freer rein to market forces across all components of
the landscape, but still within the range of what stakehold-
ers considered plausible. Conservation 2050 placed greater
emphasis on ecosystem protection and restoration although,
as with Development 2050, still reflecting a plausible bal-
ance among ecological,
social, and economic con-
siderations as defined by
stakeholders. All three
futures assumed the same
population increase,  from
2.0 to 3.9 million people
by 2050.
The historical, present-day,
and future landscapes were
represented as maps using a
consistent classification
scheme and resolution (Fig-
ure 3), and associated writ-
ten assumptions about man-
agement practices and
water use. Computer simu-
lations, as in Figure 4, also
help stakeholders visualize
the future.
Circa 1990
                            Figure 3. Trajectories of landscape change in the
                            Willamette River Basin, from pre-EuroAmerican
                            settlement, to ca. 1990, to three alternative futures
                            for 2050.
                                                                          Pre-EuroAmerican Scenario ca. 1851


                                                                               Land Use and Land Cover 1990
Figure 4. Computer simulation of the upper Willamette River and floodplain between Harrisburg and Eugene-Springfield,
ca. 1850 and ca. 1990.
                                              WRB Executive Summary 

The alternative futures were then compared based on their
expected effects on four major endpoints, using quantita-
tive models developed specifically for this purpose by proj-
ect scientists:
1. Terrestrial Wildlife -habitat for amphibians, reptiles,
birds, and mammals in the Basin and the abundance and
distribution of selected wildlife species.
2. Water Availability -demands for water for irrigation,
municipal and industrial supplies, fish protection, and other
uses, and the degree to which these demands can be satisfied
by the finite supply of surface water in the Basin.
3. Ecological Condition of Streams -
habitat and biological communities (fish
and benthic invertebrates) in all 2nd to 4th
order (small to medium size) streams  in
the Basin.
4. Willamette River - channel structure,
streamside vegetation, and fish community
richness in the Willamette River.
Results are reported as projected changes
in condition relative to ca. 1990 (Figures 5
and 6) because we have greater confidence
in our estimates of differences between
scenarios (changes over time) than in esti-
mated absolute values for any given
scenario. Present-day conditions (ca.
1990) were selected as the primary refer-
ence for among-scenario comparisons for
two reasons: (1) stakeholders were most
familiar with and best related to current
conditions and (2) the estimates for ca.
1990 were more reliable than those for
historical or future conditions.

Summary of Results
Changes since 1850.  Changes in the Will-
amette River Basin have been substantial
since EuroAmerican settlement, particu-
larly in the Valley. One hundred and fifty
years ago, a diverse bottomland forest of
black cottonwood, Oregon ash, alder, and
other riparian species extended 2-10 kilo-
meter wide along the  length of the Will-
amette River between what is now Eugene
and the mouth (Figure 4). Only 20% of
that area is forested today. Elsewhere  in
the Valley, fires set regularly by Native
Americans maintained open grasslands
and oak savanna. Since about 1850, exten-
sive land conversion for human use,
together with invasion of shrubs and trees
following fire suppression, have lead to
nearly 100% loss of some of the unique
             habitats that evolved under the pre-settlement fire regime, in
             particular wet and dry prairie and oak savanna.
             Upland portions of the Basin still are predominately forest-
             ed, although forest age structure has shifted due principally
             to forest harvesting. The extent of older conifers (> 80 years)
             in the Basin has been reduced by about two-thirds.
             In 1850, the Willamette River was physically more complex
             than it is today, particularly in the upstream reaches between
             Eugene and Corvallis. As a result of efforts to straighten and
             control the river, the total river length has declined by about
             25% and the area of off-channel alcoves and islands by
             over 50%.

- 40-
O 20-
r-i  2050
                               Plan Trend
                        Human Use Indicators
              UGB Population Density      I   I Prime Farmland
              Urbanized Area              I   I Water Consumed
              Rural Development Area
       Figure 5. Percent change in selected indicators of human use in
       the Willamette River Basin, in the three future scenarios relative to
       ca. 1990. Indicators are average human population density within
       urban growth boundaries (UGBs), land area affected by urban and
       rural development, area of prime farmland, and quantity of water
       consumed by out-of-stream uses.
                                               WRB Executive Summary 

Figure 6. Percent change in selected indicators of natural resource condition in the Willamette River Basin, in the three
futures and pre-EuroAmerican settlement scenarios, relative to ca. 1990. Vegetation indicators are the estimated area of
conifer forest > 80 years old and % of 120-meter wide riparian buffer along all streams in the Valley Ecoregion with forest
vegetation. Indicator for native terrestrial wildlife habitat is % of all 256 species projected to gain habitat minus % projected
to lose habitat. Indicator of terrestrial wildlife abundance is % of 17 species modeled projected to increase more than 10% in
abundance minus % projected to decline >  10%. Stream  condition indicators are % change in median cutthroat trout habitat
suitability index (HSI) for all 2nd to 4th order streams in the Basin and % change in median fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI)
and Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera,  and Trichoptera (EPT) richness in 2nd to 4th order streams with watersheds predominately
in the Valley Ecoregion. Willamette River indicator is % change in median fish richness.

                   Natural Resource Indicators
                   I  I Conifer >80 years
                   I  I % Forested Riparian - Lowlands
                   I  I Native Terrestrial Wildlife Habitat
                   I  I Terrestrial Wildlife Abundance
                    Cutthroat Trout HSI
                   I  I Fish IBI - Lowlands
                   I  I EPT Richness - Lowlands
                   I  I Fish Richness - Main River
                       ca. 1850
                                                 Plan Trend
Irrigation, municipal, industrial, and other out-of-stream
water uses currently consume an estimated 1060 m3/day of
surface water, causing an estimated 130 kilometers of 2nd to
4th order streams to go dry in a moderately dry summer. In
the absence of these withdrawals, no streams would be
expected to go dry.
As a result of these major habitat changes, biological
endpoints (wildlife habitat and abundance, stream and river
biota) are estimated to have been 15 to 90% higher historical-
ly than today, depending on the specific endpoint (Figure 6).
                Changes through 2050. The number of people living in the
                Willamette River Basin is expected to nearly double between
                now and 2050. Even so, more landscape change, and thus
                more environmental effects, is estimated to have occurred
                from 1850 to 1990 than stakeholders considered plausible
                from 1990 to 2050, regardless of the future scenario (Figure
                6). In all three futures, landscape changes reflected for the
                most part a shifting from past human uses to new uses, rather
                than a substantial expansion of human use of land and water
                into unimpacted, natural ecosystems. For example, new
                                               WRB Executive Summary 

              1990 Rural
         Residential zones
   reach full buildout by 2020.
areas of rural and urban development were projected to
occur predominately on lands currently used for agriculture.
In terms of effects on ecosystems, our results indicated that
the difference between agriculture and development is much
smaller than the difference between natural systems and
either agriculture or development. Even in Development
2050, substantial portions of the landscape, particularly in
the uplands, retained their natural vegetation cover and some
level of environmental protection. The stakeholder advisory
group, which oversaw design of the future scenarios, did not
consider more drastic landscape alterations plausible, given
Oregon's history of resource protection, social behaviors,
and land ownership patterns. There were, however, signifi-
cant differences in environmental quality among scenarios
and important local variations within each future.
Plan Trend 2050 (figure 7)
assumed that existing policies
and plans were implemented as
written. Where no specific plans
or policies existed, recent trends
were assumed to continue.
Three existing policies with
major impacts on the Basin are
(1) the Northwest Forest Plan,
which eliminated timber
harvesting on an extensive
network of riparian buffers and
reserve areas on federal lands
(60% of the forestry lands in the
Basin); (2) the Oregon Forest
Practices Act, which is less
restrictive than the Northwest
Forest Plan but also requires
riparian buffers on state and
privately owned forest lands;
and (3) the Oregon Land  Use
Planning Program, which
requires each city and county to
develop a comprehensive land
use plan with a particular focus
on preventing the loss of agri-
cultural and forestry resource
lands. Plan Trend 2050 provided
a unique opportunity to examine
the implications of these poli-
cies, in combination, for future landscape change.  The result
was something of a surprise to stakeholders as well as tech-
nical experts involved in the project.
Under Plan Trend 2050, new development occurred only
within designated urban growth boundaries and existing
rural residential zones. As a result, population density within
urban areas almost doubled relative to ca. 1990 (from 9.4
residents/ha in ca .1990 to 18.0 in 2050), while the amount
of urbanized land plus land influenced by rural development
increased by less than 25% (Figure 5).
         Increased demand for
    irrigation water in dry months
    concentrated on prime soils.
                           Consistent with current policies, little (<2%) prime farmland
                           or forestry resource land was lost. However, because recent
                           trends in forest harvesting on private lands were assumed to
                           continue, the extent of older conifer forest (aged > 80 years)
                           declined by 19% relative to 1990 and what remained was
                           concentrated on federally owned lands protected by the
                           Northwest Forest Plan. Except for the shift in forest age and
                           increased density of urban development, changes in land use
                           and land cover under Plan Trend 2050 were relatively minor.
                           Projected effects on aquatic and terrestrial wildlife were fair-
                           ly small basin-wide (  10% change relative to ca. 1990;
                           Figure 6), although significant declines occurred in some
                           locations and for some species. In contrast, projected
                           changes in water use and availability were substantial.
                                                     Higher density urban development
                                                     at periphery to accomodate
                                                     population growth and minimize
                                                     agricultural land conversion.
Older age
conifer forests
on federally
managed lands.
Figure 7. A diagram of the Plan Trend 2050 alternative, highlighting some key features.
                           Surface water consumption increased by 57%, reflecting a
                           20% increase in diversions for municipal and industrial uses
                           and 65-120% increase in diversions for irrigated agriculture.
                           Demands for water for municipal, industrial, and domestic
                           uses were met in most areas; however, stream flows
                           declined. The length of 2nd to 4th order streams expected to
                           go dry during a moderately dry summer doubled, from about
                           130 km ca. 1990 to 270 in Plan Trend 2050. Likewise, 17 of
                           Oregon's Water Resources Department's planning areas,
                           covering 8% of the Basin area, were projected to have near
                 WRB Executive Summary 

                Urban growth
            boundaries expand
            especially in north
zero stream flow at their outfall, compared to no such areas
in ca. 1990. Unfortunately, our models were not adequate to
assess the degree to which these changes in stream flow
would adversely impact aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
In Development 2050 (Figure 8), current land use policies
were relaxed and new development was allocated at lower
densities over a larger area. Even so, population densities
within urban growth boundaries still increased by 55% (to
14.6 residents/ha) relative to 1990. Urbanized areas expand-
ed by almost 50% and the area influenced by rural structures
by 68% (Figure 5). Urbanized areas and areas influenced by
rural structures together accounted for 10.4% of the total
Basin area, compared to 6.7% of the Basin area ca.  1990 and
8.3% in Plan Trend 2050. Most of this new development
occurred on agricultural lands.
Furthermore, the location of
urban growth boundaries, a
consequence of historical settle-
ment patterns, predisposes urban
expansion to occupying higher
quality soils and particularly
valuable agricultural resource
lands. Twenty-four percent of
1990 prime farmland was lost.
Forestry practices included a
greater amount of clear-cutting
and less stream protection in
Development 2050 than in Plan
Trend 2050, but stakeholders
did not consider it plausible that
current policies controlling
forest harvest practices would
be drastically curtailed. Under
Development 2050, the area of
conifer forest > 80 years in age
declined by 22% relative to
1990, compared to the 19%
reduction for Plan Trend  2050.
The  changes in land use and
land cover in Development 2050
would have negative effects on
terrestrial wildlife overall. Thir-
ty-nine percent more species
lost habitat than gained habitat
relative to the ca. 1990 landscape (Figure 6). Of the 17
terrestrial wildlife species modeled for changes in population
abundance, nine experienced a 10% or greater decline in
abundance relative to 1990; only one species (the coyote)
was  projected to increase in abundance by at least 10%.
Projected effects on aquatic life, on the other hand, were
relatively small (<5% decline relative to  1990). Both agricul-
ture  and residential development have similar adverse effects
on aquatic life. Thus, streams already degraded due to agri-
cultural land uses in 1990 did not decline further with the
                          conversion of agricultural land to residential development
                          that occurred in Development 2050.
                          As for Plan Trend 2050, water consumption for out-of-
                          stream uses increased markedly, by 58% in Development
                          2050 relative to ca. 1990. However, the extent of streams
                          with near zero flow in a dry summer was slightly less in
                          Development 2050 than for Plan Trend 2050, because of a
                          shift in the spatial distribution of withdrawals. An estimated
                          230 km of 2nd to  4th order streams (75% more km than in
                          1990) and 11 water planning areas (5% of the Basin area)
                          would have near zero flow in a dry summer. Demands for
                          water for municipal, industrial, and domestic use again were
                          met in most areas.
        River straightening
            and channel
       continue from 1990
          to 2050 at rate
       from 1930 to 1990.
                                                    Expansion of UGBs
                                                    and rural residential
                                                    areas causes loss of
                                                    agricultural land.
Relaxed riparian
protection and
shorter harvest
rotations reduce
the age of
standing forests.
Figure 8. A diagram of the Development 2050 alternative, highlighting some key features.
                           Conservation 2050 placed a greater priority on ecosystem
                           protection and restoration (Figure 9). As in Plan Trend 2050,
                           Conservation 2050 emphasized high-density development.
                           Both the areal extent and human population density within
                           urban growth boundaries were very similar in the two scenar-
                           ios (Figure 5). However, the use of clustered rural housing in
                           Conservation 2050, leaving the remainder of parcels in natu-
                           ral vegetation, further constrained the land area affected by
                           rural residential development. The near doubling of the
                           human population in the Basin from 1990 to 2050 was
                 WRB Executive Summary 

accommodated with only an 18% increase in the amount of
land urbanized or influenced by rural structures.
As a result, there was relatively little (<2%) conversion of
agricultural lands to urban or rural development. Yet, 15% of
ca. 1990 prime farmland was still lost, converted in this
scenario mostly to natural vegetation. Conservation strat-
egies on agricultural lands included 30-meter or wider ripari-
an buffers along all streams, conversion of some cropland to
native vegetation (in particular natural grasslands, wetlands,
oak savannah, and bottomland
forests) in high priority conser-
vation zones, establishment of
field borders and consideration
of wildlife habitat as a factor in
crop selection in environmental-
ly sensitive areas, and a 10%
increase in irrigation efficiency.
Areas along the Willamette
River that historically had
complex, dynamic channels
were targeted for restoration of
river habitat complexity and
bottomland forest.
                                             Add over 50,000
                                                acres of oak
                                             savanna in large
                                                 patches of
                                            suitable locations
                                         throughout the valley.
                                                            of the projected wildlife responses for Development 2050.
                                                            Thus a substantial number of wildlife species would benefit
                                                            from Conservation 2050, positively impacting biodiversity
                                                            in the Basin. Wildlife abundances, however, would still be
                                                            below historical estimates for most species.
                                                            Water consumption increased in Conservation 2050 relative
                                                            to ca. 1990, but to a somewhat lesser degree than for Plan
                                                            Trend 2050 and Development 2050. No water planning areas
                                                            were projected to have near zero flow in a moderately dry
Conservation 2050 Scenario's
Conservation and Restoration
   Bottomland Forest, Oak Savanna,
    Prairie, Riparian Vegetation,
     Wetlands, Upland Forest
                                          Increase amount of
                                           native bottomland
                                            forest at stream
                                            junctions and on
                                           flood-prone lands.
                                             (Increase amount
                                          of riparian vegetation
                                            outside public and
                                           private forest lands
                                          Habitat Types
                                          ^B Bottomland forest
                                          CD Oak savanna
                                          CD Prairie
                                          I  I Wetlands
                                          ^1 Riparian vegetation
                                          CD Upland forest

                                          Reference Information
                                            I Rivers and water bodies
Conservation measures imple-
mented on private forestry lands
included 30-meter or wider ripar-
ian buffers on all streams, a grad-
ual decrease in the average clear-
cut size, and retention of small
patches of legacy trees. The
result was a 17% increase in the
area with conifer forests aged 80
years and older, relative to ca.
1990, as opposed to the  19% and
22% decrease in area for Plan
Trend 2050 and Development
2050, respectively. Still, the
extent of older age conifer forest
would be less than half of what
occurred prior to EuroAmerican
settlement (see Figure 6).
Both aquatic and terrestrial
wildlife responded to the sum of
these conservation measures. In
lowland streams, indicators of stream condition, such as the
fish index of biotic  integrity and EPT richness, were project-
ed to increase by 9-24% relative to ca. 1990, representing an
estimated recovery  of 20-65% of the decline in these indica-
tors since EuroAmerican settlement. For terrestrial wildlife,
31% more species gained habitat than lost habitat relative to
ca. 1990. Of the 17  wildlife species modeled for population
abundance, 10 were projected to increase in abundance by at
least 10%, relative to ca. 1990, and only one (the mourning
dove) would decrease by 10% or more, almost the opposite
               protection for
               in forest lands.J
                                                                                                  Pacific Northwest Ecosystem
                                                                                                    Research Consortium
                                    Figure 9. Conservation and restoration opportunities map, highlighting key conserva-
                                    tion strategies incorporated into the Conservation 2050 scenario.
                                                            summer, although an estimated 225 km of 2nd to 4th order
                                                            streams would still go dry (70% more km than ca. 1990).
                                                            Thus, the water conservation measures incorporated into
                                                            Conservation 2050 were not sufficient to reverse recent
                                                            trends of increasing water withdrawals for human use.
                                                            Major changes in Oregon's water rights laws would likely be
                                                            needed to substantially reduce water withdrawals, but such
                                                            changes were not considered plausible by stakeholders
                                                            during scenario design.
                                                  WRB Executive Summary 

Were We Successful?
Did our analyses help shape the Willamette Valley Livability
Forum's vision of the Basin's future or the Willamette Resto-
ration Initiative's basin-wide restoration strategy, or lead to
more informed decisions by local citizens and governments?
Unfortunately, we have no direct measure of our influence
on such deliberations. However, there is substantial evidence
that people listened, and in some cases changed their way of
doing business. Examples include the following:
    The Forum organized a basin-wide conference, open to
     all interested participants, in April 2001 at which our
     results were a featured component.
    The Forum also published an 8-page newspaper tabloid,
     entitled "The future is in our hands," distributed to more
     than 450,000 households in all major newspapers in the
     Basin. Two of those 8 pages were devoted to our results.
    A centerpiece of the Willamette Restoration Initiative
     restoration strategy is the restoration opportunities map
     (Figure 9) we created as an interim step toward Conser-
     vation 2050.
    Our analyses stimulated two related futures analyses,
     which relied in part on our scenarios and data but
     assessed different endpoints. The Forum evaluated
     alternative transportation futures and effects on traffic
     congestion. A project initiated by 1000 Friends of
     Oregon (http://www.friends.org/) assessed the implica-
     tions of landscape futures for infrastructure costs  (e.g.,
     road, sewer, and water services) as well as losses of
     farm and forestry lands.
    Land allocation modeling during scenario development
     identified a shortage of commercially zoned land basin-
     wide, providing a concrete example of the value of large
     scale planning. The current land use program mandates
     comprehensive plans for each urban growth boundary but
     requires no evaluation of land supply across all urban
     areas combined, even in such a tightly-economically-
     coupled area as the Willamette  River Basin.

The Plan Trend 2050 scenario generated a heated debate
among stakeholders regarding whether it accurately reflected
the landscape that would result if no new policies were
implemented. Most felt not, principally because current poli-
cies are not being implemented exactly as written, as
assumed in Plan Trend 2050. For example, Oregon Land Use
Laws allow for exceptions to the goals and comprehensive
plans, and such exceptions are often granted. Thus, while
major components of the Basin landscape already have quite
conservation-oriented policies, as reflected in Plan Trend
2050, not all these policies are having their full effect. Also
evident is the imbalance in current policies among different
parts of the landscape. Conservation policies to date have
focused disproportionately on upland, forested systems.
Because upland and lowland portions of the Basin support
distinctly different types of habitats and species, a balanced
effort in both upland and lowland areas would be more
effective. This and other recommendations derived from our
analyses were included in our final publication and presenta-
tions to the Willamette Valley Livability Forum and Willam-
ette Restoration Initiative.
     For more information, contact:

     Joan P. Baker
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     National Health and Environmental Effects Research
     Laboratory - Western Ecology Division
     200 SW 35th Street
     Corvallis, Oregon 97333

     David Hulse
     University of Oregon
     Department of Landscape Architecture
     Eugene, Oregon 97403

     Stan Gregory
     Oregon State University
     Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
     Corvallis, OR 97331

     A more complete description of the project can
     be found in:
     Willamette River Basin Planning Atlas: Trajecto-
     ries of Environmental and Ecological Change (D.
     Hulse, S. Gregory, and J. Baker, editors), publish-
     ed by Oregon State University Press in 2002
     Selected data from the project can be down-
     loaded from:
                                                WRB Executive Summary