Islands on the Edge
Islands on the EdgePosted on Nov 6, 2014
Islands on the Edge: Housing Development and Other Threats to America’s Pacific and Caribbean Island Forests
Susan M. Stein, Mary A. Carr, Greg C. Liknes, and Sara J. Comas
This report provides an overview of expected housing density changes and related impacts to private forests on America’s islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, specifically Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We discuss the vulnerability of island forests to conversion for housing development, introduction and spread of invasive species, and risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, among other concerns. Our maps and projections suggest that in localized areas from 3 to 25 percent of private forest land is likely to experience a substantial increase in housing density from 2000 to 2030. Resource managers, developers, community leaders, and landowners should consider the impacts of housing development and invasive species on ecosystem services in coming decades.
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