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Cache, Firetool
A supply of fire-fighting tools and equipment assembled in planned quantities or standard units at a strategic point for exclusive use in fire supression.
Calipers, Tree
Used for measuring tree or log diameter.
Calving Areas
Any areas (large or very small) between winter range and summer range where the majority of cow elk give birth to calves.
The layer of cells between the innerbark and wood of a tree (where growth takes place).
An artificial waterway designed for navigation or for transporting water for municipal water supply, land irrigation, or drainage.
Candidate Species
Species identified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service which are considered to be candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Also, a list of such species prepared by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and published in the Federal Register.
Candle (tree)
The new bright green and tender growth of conifers in the spring.
The more or less continuous cover of branches and foliage formed collectively by the crown of a tree and the crowns of adjacent trees and other woody growth. Canopy closure may be the amount of overhead tree cover as measured using a spherical densiometer held at 1.5 m from the ground.
Capability (Inherent Capability, Inherent Carrying Capacity, Natural Capability, Natural Carrying Capacity, Physical Carrying Capacity, Resource-Bearing Capacity, Site Capacity)
Capability refers to evaluations for usability based on the natural, intrinsic, or present state of the resource. The potential of an area of land to produce resources, supply goods and services, and allow resource uses under an assumed set of management practices and at a given level of management intensity. Capability depends on current conditions and site conditions such as climate, slope, landform, soils and geology, as well as the application of management practices, such as silviculture or protection from fires, insects, and disease. Suitability is used for evaluations based on assumptions about potential usability or productivity if specified management alterations were to be made -- such as drainage improvements, added irrigation and/or fertilization. Modifiers that make clear what type evaluation procedure is implied by the rating should accompany both terms. "Capability" should always be presented as "inherent capability", "intrinsic capability", or "natural capability". Similarly "suitability" could be referred to as "managed suitability".
The "intrinsic ability" of land is ability to produce some resource, crop, or use type intensity, and quality on a sustained basis (i.e., without significant resource deterioration over the time span of renewing biogeochemical cycles), unaltered by any level of potential, future human management activities or other type of alternation). "Feasibility" refers to usability; potential ratings based on an evaluation of offsite factors -- such as accessibility, present and forecasted socioeconomic conditions, technological developments, etc.
Capacity, Highway
The maximum number of vehicles which has a reasonable expectation of passing over a given section of a lane or a roadway in one direction (or in both directions for a two-lane or a three-lane highway) during a given period of time under prevailing roadway and traffic conditions. The "prevailing roadway and traffic conditions" under which the capacity is applicable must be stated.
One of the major factors of economic production consisting of property from which an income is derived, expressed in terms of money. The term is frequently used interchangeably with capital goods that are created by people. Capital goods are sometimes called "intermediate goods" because they serve consumers only indirectly in satisfying their wants.
Capital Investment
An input to a system, typically of cash, that increases the stock of natural or human-made resources (assets) needed to maintain or increase the flow of outputs in the future. Benefits resulting from capital investments are normally recouped in excess of 1 year.
A nonmetallic chemical element occurring in many inorganic compounds and all organic compounds. Diamonds and graphite are pure carbon; carbon is also present, with other substances, in air, coal, and charcoal.
Carbon Cycle
The biogeochemical cycle undergone by carbon that is utilized by organisms, later liberated upon the death and decomposition of the organisms, and returned to its original state to be reused by another organism. It includes the photosynthesis of carbohydrates by plant chlorophyll from atmospheric carbon dioxide and water. Plants and animals transform carbohydrates into the structures and energy for growth and life processes. Carbon dioxide is returned (aided by the action of bacteria and other microorganisms and by combustion) to the atmosphere by excreta and decay.
Cardinal Value
Numerical value assigned to a variable that relates directly to some physical property (height, weight, etc.). Each number has some meaning by itself about the measured property. Also see Ordinal Value.
(1) A flesh-eating animal. (2) Any of various predatory, flesh-eating mammals of the order Carnivora, including the dogs, cats, bears, weasels, and raccoons.
Carrying Capacity
(1) The number (or weight) of organisms of a given species and quality that can survive in, without causing deteriorating, a given ecosystem through the least favorable environmental conditions that occur within a stated interval of time. (2) The maximum population density of a given species in an area beyond which no significant increase can occur without damage occurring to the resources upon which the population depends. (3) The quantity of biomass an environment is capable of carrying over a 12-month period... or throughout the most critical period of the year ...or maintained indefinitely. (4) See below. The concept now has so many meanings and interpretations that it is meaningless.
Carrying Capacity, Psychological or Esthetic
The level of use beyond which the sensory and conceptual quality of the resource begins to deteriorate for some particular user group because of an unacceptable amount of contact with other similar users or proximity to types of use incompatible with their mental image of an acceptable quality resource environment. Psychological carrying capacity is the number of simultaneous wildland users beyond which the resource is too crowded to satisfy user demands.
Carrying Capacity, Range
The maximum number of individual animals (or equivalents, e.g., AUMs) that can survive the greatest period of stress each year on a given land area. It does not refer to sustained yield. In range management, the term has become erroneously synonymous with grazing capacity.
Carrying Capacity, Wildland Recreation
The level of recreational use of a particular type or character an area can withstand over a stated period while providing a sustained quality of recreation to a user population without causing excessive damage to the physical environment or incurring high maintenance or restoration costs. Conditions may be enhanced beyond those that originally made it desirable for recreational use. Rather than having a single capacity, each site may have a range of potential capacities, each providing different consequences. Therefore, even if it can be shown how areas and experiences will change with various levels of use and various management practices, acceptable-change decisions are based on stated objectives.
Carrying Capacity, Wildlife
The user-specified-quality biomass of a population of a species or life group, under the influence of social or behavioral constraints, for which a particular area, having user-specified objectives, will supply all energetic and physiological requirements over a long, but specified, period. A distinction should be made for actual or potential carrying capacity. Actual carrying capacity varies annually. Composite carrying capacity implies many species (e.g., all of the grazing animals).
Catch Curve
A graph representing the pattern of mortality of a population of fish over time resulting from fishing. Similar to a kill urve.
Catchment Area or Basin
See Watershed.
Census Tract
U.S. Bureau of the Census tracts are small areas into which large cities and adjacent areas have been divided for statistical purposes. In each standard metropolitan statistical area, tracts were established in cooperation with a local committee. Tracts were generally designed to be relatively uniform with respect to population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions. The average tract has about 4,000 residents. Tract boundaries are established to be maintained over a long time so that comparisons may be made from census to census.
Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Presidential.
distance of 66 feet; 5 chains = a tally; 10 square chains=an acre; 80 chains= a mile (5280 ft)
Channel (Watercourse)
An open conduit either natural or artificial, which periodically or continuously contains moving water, or which forms a connecting link between two bodies of water.
Channel Storage
The volume of water that is temporarily present (stored) in a stream channel and its floodplain while enroute to an outlet.
Character Type
Large physiographic area of land which has common characteristics of land forms, rock formations, water forms, and vegetative patterns.
Characteristics of Ecosystem Diversity
(US Forest Service, 2005) Parameters used to describe an ecosystem in terms of the
  • composition, such as major vegetation types, rare communities, aquatic systems, and riparian systems;
  • structure, including successional stages, water quality, wetlands, and floodplains;
  • principal ecological processes, including stream flows and historic and current disturbance regimes; and
  • soil, water, and air resources.
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
A measure of the amount of a dissolved oxygen supply in a body of water that would be used up in completely oxidizing added inorganic oxidizable compounds, e.g., in the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. Biological oxygen demand (BOD) tests can only measure the biodegradable fraction of the total potential dissolved oxygen consumption by added wastes; COD tests may be used to measure the oxygen demand created by toxic organic or inorganic compounds as well as by biodegradable substances. A standard COD test, therefore, can be used to evaluate many industrial type wastes not readily analyzed for water quality factors by the sewage-oriented BOD test.
Chemical Tissue Analysis
Measurement of the types and/or amounts of chemical substances present in the tissue of an organism.
Chemosynthetic Activity
The synthesis of organic matter from mineral substances, with the aid of chemical energy.
Choropleth Map
A map showing discrete areas, such as counties, soil units, and vegetation types. Uniform conditions are assured within each map unit.
The green photosynthetic substance in plants which allows them to capture solar energy.
A length of wire rope or chain with a loop or noose at one end used to secure logs for skidding.
Continuous inventory of stand conditions; a computerized method (or the files) of recording information about each individual stand of tree.
City Planning (Urban Planning)
The process of guiding growth, maintenance, and change in urban areas to achieve a full range of objectives, well beyond the form and arrangement of the parts of the physical urban environment.
Forming, sorting, apportioning, grouping, or dividing objects into classes to form an ordered arrangement of items having a defined range of characteristics, relationships, and distinctive differences. Classification systems may be taxonomic, mathematical, observed, or inferred, depending upon the purpose to be served. The purpose of classification is to describe the structure and relationships of objects to each other and to similar objects, and to simplify these relationships in such a way that general statements can be made about classes of objects, thereby achieving economy of memory and ease of manipulation.
Typically naturally occurring inorganic, crystalline mineral particles less than 0.002 millimeters in equivalent diameter. Composed of fragments of hydrous aluminum silicate minerals in soil and other earthy deposits. "Soil texture" consisting of 40 percent or more clay-sized particles, less than 40 percent silt-sized particles and less than 45 percent sand-sized particles. Such soils have a high plasticity index, an expression of the amount of water that soil can hold without losing its plasticity.
Cleaning Cut
Cleaning is applied to forest stands not past the sapling stage (4-8 feet), but not until the removal cut has been completed. At this stage, genetic differences are likely to be easily recognized; opportunity to improve species composition is at a maximum; and little production of wood on usable stems will be lost -- with the possible exception of areas where rainfall exceeds vegetative needs.
(1)A harvest operation removing an entire stand (regardless of size) in one cut; (2) A harvest operation removing an entire merchantable stand in one cut; (3)The area after such a cut.
Clearcutting System
A nominal silvicultural system in which all the trees are cleared over a large area at one time in a brief period. Regeneration tactics are part of the operation and are generally artificial, but natural regeneration is sometimes possible by seeding from the air, from adjacent stands, or from seed, coppice, and/or advance growth already on the ground. One objective is to establish even-aged stands.
The average course or condition of the weather at a particular place over a period of many years as exhibited in absolute extremes, means, ranges and seasonal distribution of air temperature, wind velocity and direction, precipitation type, duration and amount, humidity and other weather elements. It is not synonymous with weather. (Climate is the weather of a particular region, averaged over a long period of time.)
Climax (Vegetation)
The culminating stage in plant succession for a given environment; the vegetation being conceived as having reached over time a highly stable condition.
Climax Community (Climax)
The final stable, self-perpetuating community in a developmental series under the prevailing climatic and soil conditions. A "climax" is determined in large measure by the nature of the topography or soil, e.g., a particular type of forest may be the "climax" on a north-facing slope while a grassland may be the "climax" on the south-facing slope of the same ridge. The main biotic components are not overthrown by invaders. No new species become dominant in the community. Climax is frequently used in the sense of species usually present (or at least common) only as members of a climax community.
A gradual and continual change in a structural or functional character exhibited by a series of populations or throughout the range of a species, usually along a line of geographic or environmental gradient, in which individuals at the two extremes differ markedly.
An instrument used to determine the height of a tree or structure.
A group of organisms in a food web in which any pair of species shares at least one prey species; species groups that have similar diets but are different from other such groups.
A plant group derived from a single individual through vegetative reproduction.
Closed Area
Any area closed to people or equipment for management purposes for certain types of use or treatment.
Cluster Development (Planned Unit Development, PUD)
Grouping structures in a housing development tightly together and using the open land thus saved for common greens and squares. Subdivision and zoning regulations apply to the project as a whole rather than to its individual lots (as in most tract housing). Densities are calculated on a project-wide basis. Potential advantages include: improved site design free of standard lot pattern limitations; lower street and utility costs made possible by reduced frontages; more useful open space due to reducing or eliminating the unusable side and front yards required by traditional zoning; greater flexibility in mixing residential building types; the possibility, through its greater freedom in design, of increasing over-all densities without loss of essential amenities.
The aggregate of eggs or the young of birds
Coastal State
Coastal Zone Management Act (1972) affects land usage in the States of the United States in, or bordering on, the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, or one or more of the Great Lakes. The term also includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.
Coastal Waters
Within the Coastal Zone Management Act (1) in the Great Lakes area, the waters with in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States consisting of the Great Lakes, their connecting waters, harbors, roadsteads, and estuary-type areas such as bays, shallows, and marshes and (2) in other areas, those waters, adjacent to the shorelines, which contain a measurable quantity or percentage of sea water, including, but not limited to, sounds, bays, lagoons, bayous, ponds, and estuaries.
Coastal Zone
The coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shores (including the waters therein and thereunder), strongly influenced by each other and in proximity to the shorelines of the several coastal states, including transitional and intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches. The zone extends, in Great Lakes' waters, to the international boundary between the United States and Canada and, in other areas, seaward to the outer limit of the United States territorial sea. The zone extends inland from the shorelines only to the extent necessary to control shores, the uses of which have a direct and significant impact on the coastal waters. Excluded from the coastal zone are lands the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of or which is held in trust by the Federal government, its officers, or agents. (Coastal Zone Management Act 1972)
Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-583) 86 Stat. 1280)
Finds and declares that it is the national policy (A) to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance, the resources of the Nation's coastal zone for this and succeeding generations; (B) to encourage and assist the states to exercise effectively their responsibilities in the coastal zone through developing and implementing management programs to achieve wise use of the land and water resources of the coastal zone giving full consideration to ecological, cultural, historic, and esthetic values as well as to needs for economic development; (C) for all Federal agencies engaged in programs affecting the coastal zone to cooperate and participate with state and local governments and regional agencies in effectuating the purposes of this title; and (D) to encourage the public, of Federal, state, and local governments and of regional agencies to participate in developing coastal zone management programs.

With respect to implementing such management programs, it is the national policy to encourage cooperation among the various state and regional agencies including establishment of interstate and regional agreements, cooperative procedures, and joint action particularly regarding environmental problems. The Act authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to make annual grants to any coastal state for the purpose of assisting in developing a management program for the land and water resources of its coastal zone.

A tree receiving full sunlight from above but comparatively little from the sides. Such trees have medium-sized crowns.
A constant factor of an equation or model as distinguished from a variable.
Coefficient of Channel Maintenance
(1 / Drainage Density) the area that sustains water relations for a linear unit of a stream.
A group of plants or animals in the same age class. This is frequently discussed as the equivalent of 1,000 or 10,000 animals starting life together and being subject to different mortality factors, reducing the number over time.
Cold-Water Fishery
Stream and lake waters that support predominantly cold-water species of game or food fishes, which have maximum, sustained water temperature tolerances of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Salmon, trout, grayling, and northern pike are examples.
Collector Road
Roads and trails constructed to serves smaller land areas than a forest arterial road, and they are usually connected to a terminal or forest arterial or public highway. Collects traffic from forest local roads and/or terminal facilities. The location and standard are influenced by both long-term multi-resource service needs, as well as travel efficiency. May be operated by either constant or intermittent service, depending on land use and resource management objectives for the area.
Mixed deposits of soil material and rock fragments accumulated near the base of steep slopes through gravity, i.e., soil creep, landslides, and local surface runoff (but not stream flow).
Color (of Water)
Color in water can be caused by the presence of such things as plankton, decaying organic matter, industrial wastes, and sewage. "True color" - the color of a water sample after turbidity has been removed by filtration. "Apparent color" - the color of an untreated water sample. True color is usually measured by comparing the color of a water sample to that of a fixed standard. Color is expressed in terms of "color units" where one color unit is the difference in tint produced by one milligram per liter of the chlorplatinate ion.
An English-language specification issued by the user to a computer instructing it to perform some function.
Capacity of a rangeland use permittee's base ranch property to support permitted livestock during the period that such livestock are off public land.
Commensurable Values
Resource yields or conditions which can be objectively compared because their values can be expressed on the same measurement scale (e.g., in dollars, pounds, or cubic feet).
Commensurate Property (Base Property)
Land or controlled livestock water which qualifies a person for a grazing preference on other land, either public or private.
Commercial Forest Land
Forest land that is producing or is capable of producing crops of industrial wood (20 cubic feet or more per acre per year) and (1) has not been withdrawn by Congress, the Secretary, or the Chief; (2) existing technology and knowledge is available to ensure timber production without irreversible damage to soils, productivity, or watershed conditions; and (3) existing technology and knowledge, as reflected in current research and experience, provides reasonable assurance that adequate restocking can be attained within 5 years after final harvesting (there is no financial criterion).
Commercial/Industrial Land
Land used primarily for buying, selling, and processing goods and services and including sites for stores, factories, shopping centers, and industrial parks, together with necessary adjacent facilities such as underground and surface utilities, access streets and alleys, and other servicing structures, appurtenances, and measures.
Commercial Thinning
Thinning operations from which the material cut can be sold on the market as opposed to pre-commercial thinning in which small wood is left in the forest.
A transportable resource product with commercial value; all resource products which are articles of commerce.
Common (Variety Class B)
Refers to prevalent, usual, or widespread landscape variety within a character type, also ordinary or undistinguished visual variety.
Common Variety Minerals
Materials which lack substantial individual, energy-related, or metalliferous value and which are commonly extracted in significant quantities and which are often used in construction or related industries. Examples include but are not limited to sand, stone, gravel, and clay and combinations thereof. They cannot be claimed or patented.
Community (Association, Biotic Association, Ecological Community)
A community is an assemblage of populations living in a stated area. It is a loosely organized unit to the extent that it has characteristics additional to its individual species and populations components. Communities have perceived functional unity, characteristic trophic structures, and patterns of energy flow. They also have taxonomic unity (in that there is a certain probability that certain species will occur together) and a relatively uniform appearance. Communities may be sharply defined. Very frequently, however, communities blend gradually into one another but they have the characteristic of being distinctively (statistically) different from adjacent units. The word is used with the simplest (e.g., an unrooted mat of algae) to the most complex ecosystem (e.g., a multistoried rain forest). Community units may be very large, like the continent-wide coniferous forest, or very small, like the community of invertebrates and fungi in a decaying log. The extent of a community is limited only by the requirement of a more or less uniform species composition. The composition and character of a community is an indicator of the type of environment that is present. Since "plant communities" and "animal communities" occur together in the same habitat and have many interrelations, the one can scarcely be considered independently of the other. Together they make up the "biotic community", a part of the general concept of community that also includes abiotic subsystems and factors.
Community, Biotic
An assemblage of related populations of plants and animals constituting a relatively self-sufficient ecological unit. Any assemblage of populations living in a prescribed area; it is a unit to the extent that it has characteristics additional to its individual species and populations components.
Community, Climax
The final or relatively stable biotic community in a developmental series; it is self-perpetuating and in equilibrium with the physical, climatic, and edaphic conditions. The physiographic climax is a climax determined in large measure by the nature of the topography or soil, e.g., a forest climax may occur on a north-facing slope while grassland is the climax on the south-facing slope of the same ridge. The edaphic climax is a climax determined largely by the nature of the soil conditions, e.g., a saltgrass marsh in a poorly drained alkaline depression in grassland. A biotic climax is a climax caused by a permanent influence or combination of influences caused by one or more kinds of organisms, including people.
Community (Human see ...of Interest below)
A human community, is hard to define. "You just know it when you are within it." It is all of those people having a spiritual or cultural relationship with an area or a concept, concern for quality of life within an area, or significant common physical or economic interests. A community may be a neighborhood, an apartment complex, people in a multi-county area, people affected by a project, or people very interested in a limited topic such as controlling soil erosion.
Community Development
Deliberate efforts to foster sociocultural change on the human community level, change of a kind seen as valuable or progressive, usually including an improved quality of life through increases in resources, skills, facilities, technology, social competence, and social power.
Community of Interest
A group of people connected to each other by common interests or needs, e.g., senior citizens, connected by interests in arts, or conservation.
Community Services Land
Land used primarily for schools, hospitals, churches, libraries, sewerage and water treatment plants, sanitary land fills, public parking areas, and other community service facilities, together with necessary adjacent facilities such as underground and surface utilities, access streets and alleys, and other servicing structures, appurtenances and measures.
Decrease in volume of soil and sediment as a result of compressive stress, continued deposition above them, but also from drying, use of heavy equipment, and other causes.
A subdivision of forest area for purpose of orientation, administration, and management operations and usually defined by natural or artificial boundaries such as ridgelines, streams, or roads. Usually containing about 1,000 acres, a compartment is further divided into stands.
Compatible Uses
Land uses which can exist together, so that no one use detracts significantly from the quality, output, or value of another.
Compensable Regulation
Land use regulations which, while restricting the uses which may be made of land, compensate the property owner for any decrease in the value of his or her land caused by the regulations. The property is typically first valued as in a condemnation proceeding. Once a fair value is ascertained and agreed upon, the state guarantees the owner that value for his or her land. The owner then agrees to place the land under regulations controlling its use. This is a means of strengthening zoning by providing compensation for loss of control or value.
Competition (Ecological Competition)
The general struggle for existence (and dominance) in which organisms compete for a limited supply of the necessities of life. It is the condition of rivalry between different organisms, usually closely related species (or within a species) which use the same resources and live in the same places, that exists when organisms are in short supply. If the resources are not in short supply, the condition that occurs when the organisms seeking and using that resource nevertheless harm one another in the process. Competition may be interspecific (i.e., between two or more different species), or intraspecific (i.e., between members of the same species).
To supply mutually what another user or site lacks. (A design for a site complex that indicates the specific locations of buildings, parking lots, etc. complements the management plans that do not contain this information). The distinction between complements and supplements of plans is that complements, and the larger plan to which they relate, can be viewed as being mutually supplemental because each supplies something which the other lacks; however, plan supplements do not gain anything themselves by their addition to a plan.
Complete Flow
Complete flow means that flow (stream discharge) figures are determined based upon a complete record (full range) of stage, as opposed to partial record flow where figures pertain only to a predetermined limited range in stage.
Complementary Uses
Land uses, each of which is improved in quality or quantity by the other uses existing with it in the same area.
Complete Protection
The withdrawal of all grazing animals from a given range.
Completeness Test
Requirement that an alternative plan for water and related land resources provide and account for all necessary investments or other actions that will be needed to assure the full realization of the contributions provided by the plan to the components of the objectives specified for the planning area.
A functional part of an ecosystem. It can be a species, a part of a species, a life form, or any other functional group made up of other components (e.g., the component "grass" is constituted of many species in a given ecosystem, but it is defined by the ecosystem analyzer as a functional component based on an explicit rationale.)
Comprehensive Plan (General Plan, Master Plan)
An official document adopted by a local government or landowner setting forth its general policies regarding the long-term physical development of a city or other area. Such plans are broad enough to include all aspects of a development or redevelopment program as distinguished from sporadic, isolated, or piecemeal planning. The process of designing futures not only of three dimensional accomplishments in space but also social mechanisms such as laws, regulations, policies, and forms of organization. It is used interchangeably with the terms "general plan" and "city plan" and is probably, most familiarly, as a "master plan". Comprehensive plans" typically include (1) a land plan map which shows the location of all owned land, the interrelationship between all of the uses proposed on such land, the circulation system required to serve the uses existing or proposed, and the relationship between ownership within a reasonable area of influence. (2) Land use policies related to the resources management, conservation and disposal of public lands. (3) Land use policies related to the activities and the regulations as they affect portions of the land. (4) Implementation schedules which establish priorities for programs in management, mapping, engineering, and public works. (5) A program for coordinating land use, intensity, and activity programs with Federal, state, regional, county and other local agencies as well as with private applicants. Increasing emphasis has occurred on social, economic, and esthetic topics, moving plans beyond physical and land use documents.
The amount of a substance occurring in a given amount of a medium -- air, water, soil, tissue, etc. It may be expressed e.g., as parts per million, grams per liter, or in other units.
In real property law, the process by which property of a private owner is taken for public use without his or her consent, but requiring payment of just compensation.
Confined Aquifer
An aquifer bounded above and below by impermeable beds or beds of distinctly lower permeability than that of the aquifer itself. It contains confined ground water.
Any of predominantly evergreen, cone-bearing trees with needle, awn, or scalelike leaves, e.g., pine, spruce, hemlock, cypress, larch, or fir (often called "softwoods").
The protection, improvement, and use of natural resources according to principles that will assure their highest economic and social service. A general word suggesting practices and customs of people that perpetuate resources and yields from some that are sustained. It usually includes preventing waste of non renewable resources and recycling. Said by some to be "wise use without abuse," definitions of "wise" and "abuse" remain to be defined in each situation of using such a phrase.
USFS 2005: Measures designed to achieve preservation, maintenance, or restoration goals for species without impairing the sustainable flow of uses, values, benefits, products, services, and visitor opportunities for current and future generations.
Conservation Agreement
A formal agreement between the Forest Service and the USFWS and/or NMFS identifying management actions necessary to prevent the need to list species under the Endangered Species Act.
The percentage of occurrence of a species in the total number of plots, uniform in area, located in a number of forest stands of one kind of community.
Constrained Maximum Level Alternative
The highest level of a particular output that could be produced over time, subject to the production of minimum acceptable levels for all other outputs.
A qualification of the minimum or maximum amount of an output or cost that could be produced or incurred in a given time period or with given factors or resources. A limiting or satisfying condition which must be met when setting objectives. "Ceiling" or "floor" may be used in the same manner.
Consulting Forester
A self-employed professional forester.
In an ecosystem, a heterotrophic organism (one for which complex materials, especially organic foods, are the chief source of nutrition) which feeds on other organisms. A primary consumer, as a herbivore, obtains its nutrition directly from plants; a secondary consumer, as a carnivore, obtains its energy indirectly by feeding upon herbivores.
Consumer Scale
Wood is hauled off the land and is measured at the mill (where the logger sells his/her wood). The logger reports this mill scale to the landowner. Payment to the landowner is based on this scale at the mill.
Consumptive Wildlife Species
All wild creatures taken by humans for sport, food, or profit.
tracts or any land units or legal subdivisions having a common boundary. Lands having only a common corner are not considered contiguous. Contiguity is the general condition and indices possibly expressing habitat or land use diversity.
Contour Stripping
A type of strip mining that is practiced in areas of steep topography where the mineral seam outcrops or approaches the surface at approximately the same elevation along a hillside.
Controlled Burn
See Prescribed Burn.
Cool Season Forage
Plants that mainly provide a winter or early spring food source for wildlife (e.g., clover, winter wheat, rye, ryegrass)
Wooden barrels tubs or the wood used in making them.
Cooperative Work Deposit
Payment by a timber purchaser over and above high bid price to cover the costs of erosion control and road maintenance after the sale.
(1)Tree sprouts; (2) a forest grown wholly or predominantly from sprouts from harvested trees.
A unit of measurement for stacking round or split wood. A standard cord is 4 x 4 x 8 feet or 128 cubic feet. A standard cord may contain 60-100 cubic feet of solid wood depending on the size of the pieces and the compactness of these stacks. In the Lake States (USA) a cord is 4 x 4 x x 100 inches and contains 133 cubic feet.
Small diameter wood suitable for pulp, chips, or firewood but not for sawlogs.
Core Drilling
The process by which a cylindrical sample of rock and other strata is obtained by using a hollow-drilling bit that cuts and retains a section of the material penetrated.
(1) A linear strip of land identified for present or future location of transportation or utility rights-of-way within its boundaries. (2) A thin strip of vegetation used by wildlife and potentially allowing movement of biotic factors between two areas.
Cost Coefficients
Values that relate an acre of land to particular dollar cost in a specific period of time.
Cost Effective
Achieving specified outputs or objectives under given conditions for the least cost.
Cost Efficiency
The usefulness of specified inputs (cost) to produce specified outputs (benefits). In measuring cost efficiency, some outputs (such as environmental, economic, or social impact) are not assigned monetary values, but are achieved at specified levels in the least cost manner. Certain outputs not highly desired may be gotten at low costs. "Effective" emphasizes achievement of objectives. Cost efficiency is usually measured using present net value, although use of benefit-cost ratios and rates-of-return may be appropriate.
Plants and plant parts, living or dead, on the surface of the ground. Also the percentage of a named area that has such plants.
Cover (Forage Density)
(1) The proportion of the ground occupied by a perpendicular projection to the ground from the outline of the aerial parts of plants. (2) Canopy closure or the amount of overhead tree cover as measured using a spherical densiometer held at 1.5 m from the ground, (2) The plants or other objects used by wild animals for nesting, rearing of young, resting, escape from predators, hiding from hunters, or protection from adverse environmental conditions. (3) Nighttime is the profound cover.
Cover-Forage Ratio
The ratio of the area in a habitat analysis unit providing good cover to that area providing good forage.
Cover Type
Mappable classes of predominant vegetative cover or the map itself. Sometime used synomously with land use maps.
A distinctive dense vegetation in which game or other species of interest are typically found e.g., a corner in hedgerows.
Criteria and Indicators
(USFS 2005): Criteria are broad categories of conditions or processes by which the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystems and related resources may be assessed. Indicators are measurable outcomes for various aspects of a criterion. The ForestService has adopted national criteria as an organizing framework for the national renewable resources assessment, which reports on trends in the associated indicators. The USFS Strategic Plan uses the assessment results to assist in identifying goals, objectives, performance measures, and strategies focused on delivering sustainable resource management.
Critical Habitat
A term preempted by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 but now considered inappropriate in elk management and similar uses.
Cultural Resource Management.
Sharp bend defect in a tree reducing its potential value.
Crop Tree
A well-located tree of potential high value which will be grown to maturity and will not be removed before the final harvest.
Cross Subsidy
Selling a valuable timber stand for less than market value to compensate the purchaser for having to pay for another timber stand that is worthless.
The branches and foliage of a tree; the upper portion.
Crown Class
In descending order of crown height and size: dominant, co-dominant, intermediate, and suppressed.
Crown Fire
A fire that burns through the tops of living trees or brush.
Crown Ratio
The ratio of the length within a tree with leaves to the total tree height.
(1)A survey of forest land to locate timber and estimate its quantity by species, products, size, quaality, or other characteristics; (2)the estimates from such a survey.
Crusing Radius (r)
The radius of a mapped circular area in which average individuals typically move. Time, seasons, or totals may be specified. The circle (or concentric circles) may be drawn to encompass proportions of all observations of the animals. Where A = r2, the radius is an expression of the area commonly used by individuals, families, or groups of animals of a species.
Cubic Foot
1,728 cubic inches of wood; contains 6-10 useable board feet of wood.
(1)A tree or log of merchantable size rendered unmerchantable because of poor form, limbiness, rot, or other defect; (2)the deduction in gross volume made to adjust for defect; (3)to cut a small portion of a stand by selecting one or a few of the best trees; (4)to reject a tree, log, or board in scaling or grading; (5) any item of production that does not meett standards.
Culmination of Mean Annual Increment (CMAI)
The point where the total growth increment divided by age is at its maximum.
Culmination of Mean Annual Increment
(See mean annual increment)
Cultural and/or Heritage Resource
Physical evidence of human behavior or past cultural system relating to the disciplines of archaeology, architecture, ethnology, and history.
(USFS 2005) Such resources as archeological, historical, or architectural sites, structures, places, objects, ideas, and traditions that are identified by field inventory, historical documentation, or evidence and that are of importance to specified social or heritage groups and/or scientific and management endeavors.
A conduit (e.g.,pipe) through which surface water can flow under roads.
Cumulative Effects
The additive, often uncoordinated, impacts when a number of unrelated, or related but discrete, management activities take place in a given area.
Cunit (CCF)
100 cubic feet of solid wood.
Cutting Cycle
The planned interval between major harvest operations in a stand. Usually applied to evan-aged stands. A cycle of 10 years means that every 10 years a harvest would occur in a stand.
Fairly regular fluctuations in density of a species over many years (>30). Cycles need to be evaluated in terms of the regularity of their period (the time between peaks or " lows") and also their amplitude (the difference from the average density).

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Last revision January 17, 2000.