Forest management: Decision-Making Principles & Model

Forest management objectives and alternatives together form a decision-making model. Decisions making models may have several variants, some may be more complicated whereas some are less complicated.

Also Read: Forest Management and Its Objectives

Decision-making principles and model

fig:-A rudimentary decision-making model

1. Decision maker

  • are Ultimately responsible for deciding which alternative is chosen.
  • Decide on the basis of available data and their analysis, and consultation with staff members.


  • In this step, objectives are identified and conflicting objectives resolved.
  • Sometimes decision-making process often focuses on problems and causes their resolution.
  • Ideally, the decision maker has one or more objectives identified and provides information for listing alternatives.


  • Alternatives are the different courses of action that managers may take to reach their objectives.
  • Decision maker lists the alternative courses of action they must take to reach their objectives.
  •  Each alternative may partially or fully achieve the objectives.


  • Barriers or constraints to reaching objectives.
  • They are what must be given up to reach the objective or what prevents one from reaching the objective,
  • Both physical and economic constraints can be identified.
  • Physical constraints may exist in the forest production process that does not allow reaching some objectives or that may determine how closely the objectives can be reached., e.g. Site quality may determine how much timber can be grown in an area.
  • Economic constraints such as limited availability of funds determine investment in forestry programs or non-forestry programs.
  • The forest managers must choose those alternatives to reach the desired objective within these constraints.


  • Once the objective is identified, alternatives are listed along with constraints on each alternative.
  • Analysis can be made here /one of the three decisions can be made:
  1. Choose an alternative
  2. Do nothing
  3. Go back and obtain more data for further analysis
  1. Choosing an alternative from among those listed means that a course of action has been defined. The next step is to implement the alternative.
  2. To do nothing is to let things continue as they are.
  3. Finally, more information can be sought, it can be done at any of the preceding levels. Objectives can be reformulated, new alternatives set or more data about existing alternatives obtained and additional information on constraints can be found.

Note: Seeking more data brings us back to the model at these levels until an exit point is reached- either a “no” or “alternative”   decision.

Yasmin Chaudhary
Yasmin Chaudhary

Conservationists, Bsc forestry, Bsc

Articles: 21

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