Canadian Forest Service Publications

Uncertainty and forest land use allocation in British Columbia: Fuzzy decisions and imprecise coefficients. 1996. Ells, A.; Bulte, E.; van Kooten, G.C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Working Paper WP-96.11, copublished by the BC Ministry of Forests.

Year: 1996

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4656

Language: English

Series: Working Paper WP (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Recently, increasing weight has been placed on non-timber values in forest management. Both the multiple objectives and the parameters that support decision making in forestry are often imprecise and vague. In this paper, the concepts of fuzzy set theory are explained and then applied to the problem of allocating public forest land on Vancouver Island among competing land uses. Two principal sources of fuzziness are identified; those related to uncertainty in classification (specification of management objectives) and those related to uncertainty concerning how actions affect objectives (imprecise technical coefficients). By comparing the results of classical and fuzzy decision models, it can be concluded that the latter approach is an improvement over the former. The fuzzy land-use allocation appears to be more consistent with the political decision making process that has evolved in British Columbia, a process which relies on consultation and consensus seeking among various interest groups. The analysis also yields insights into the robustness of outcomes and suggests priority areas for future research.