The objective of this scenario is to let the forests within the MFR develop with minimal human intervention, letting natural processes take the lead in shaping the future forest conditions.
Key features of this scenario include:
- No standard harvesting each year. Harvesting would only be done for fire smart requirements or safety hazard issues, such as windthrow.
- This scenario option scores lower for Sensitive Ecosystems than Scenario 3 because there would not be any harvesting to maintain the historically more open woodlands.
- There would not be any management activities to encourage “old forest” characteristics, so those forest habitat benefits would take longer to occur than with the active management of Scenario 3.
- The costs would be lower than Scenario 3 because of the lack of consistent harvesting.
- This scenario performs the best in terms of carbon capture and protection of watersheds.
- The opportunity for carbon credits is the highest of the four scenario options.