A Systems Thinking Approach to Wood Processing and Forest Health in Wyoming

Photo credit: Jake Barker

Julia Chen and Jake Barker are collaborating with The Nature Conservancy-Wyoming to investigate strategies to improve forest health and resilience through targeted forest restoration in Wyoming. At present, the pace and scale of forest restoration in Wyoming is constrained by several factors, including high costs and limited wood-processing infrastructure. The team will apply a system thinking approach to build a conceptual model that describes the dynamic relationships between the ecological, economic, and social factors underlying forest management and wood processing in Wyoming. This model will be informed and shaped by a literature review and conversations with key stakeholders that work and collaborate with the multiple Wyoming National Forests. Additionally, Jake and Julia will identify important case-studies and summarize key takeaways and how they may apply to Wyoming. This work will help TNC-Wyoming explore long-term, targeted forest restoration investments, place-based policy solutions, and improved wood processing infrastructure across the state.


The Nature Conservancy Wyoming


Jake Barker, Research Assistant | Jake Barker is a Masters of Forestry candidate interested in forest management, public lands, and conservation. Prior to YSE, Jake worked around the country for the USDA Forest Service Enterprise Program in Timber Sale Preparation, and for a sustainable forestry company in Oregon. Born and raised in Steamboat Springs, CO, Jake received a BA in History of Art and Architecture from Middlebury College. When he isn’t measuring trees, Jake enjoys cycling, trail running, playing cribbage, and splitboarding.  See what Jake has been up to.  |  Blog

Julia Chen, Research Assistant | Julia Chen is a Master of Forestry candidate at the Yale School of the Environment focusing on forest management issues in the American West. Julia received a B.S. in Ecosystem Management and Forestry and Microbiology from UC Berkeley, where her love for conifer forests developed. Prior to YSE, her work with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology concentrated on amphibian conservation and mapping species ranges. In her free time, Julia enjoys playing tuba and hiking. See what Julia has been up to.  |  Blog