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Implementing Ecosystem

Management

An Ecosystem Management Process

Step 2. Conduct an integrated assessment, consisting of:


- An ecological assessment
a) Terrestrial
b) Aquatic
- A Socio-economic assessment
- An integrated analysis of the first two components
Step 3

Develop a range of management alternatives


Determine the Desired Future Condition

Step 4. Select an alternative, then implement it.


Step 5. Monitor

Adaptive Management

Step 1. Select an ecologically meaningful unit (e.g. an ecoregion, a


landscape, a watershed, etc.)

How do we construct a range of


management alternatives?
1. No Action alternative required by NEPA
2. A range of alternatives that varies by the extent or
intensity of actions proposed

Slight action

Moderate action

Extreme action

3. Alternatives that tradeoff multiple objectives in


varying combinations
4. Alternatives proposed by interest groups or
constituencies

Sewing Together a
Functional Landscape:

What are the building blocks of


a functional landscape?

There is a spectrum of management


opportunities

Active
Management:

Intermediary
Approaches

Passive
Management:

Intensive landscape
manipulation

Combines elements of
both

Conservation through an
orchestrated shifting
mosaic of patches over
time

Landscape zoned into a


range of allocations

Conservation focused on
fully protected core
reserves

Provides resource
managers with maximum
flexibility but carries high
risk

Different allocations
managed actively or
passively or somewhere in
between

Initial active restoration


efforts often included
But nature left to take its
course thereafter

IUCNs* Six Protected Areas


Management Categories
Category I.
Category II.
Category III.
Category IV.
Category V.

Category VI.

Strict Nature Reserve: managed for science or wilderness


National Park: managed primarily for ecosystem protection
and recreation
Natural Monument: managed primarily for conservation of
specific natural features
Habitat/Species Management Area: managed for conservation
through active intervention
Protected Landscape/Seascape: Managed for cultural and
scenic integrity, conservation, and recreation; human
settlements and agricultural areas are accommodated
Managed Resource Protected Area: Managed primarily for the
sustainable use of ecosystems
IUCN = The World Conservation Union, previously
known as the International Union for the Conservation
of Nature

Large
Core
Reserve

Small
Core
Reserve

Protected Areas Explained


1. What is a protected area?

An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection of biological diversity
and natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other
effective means (IUCN 1996).

2. Benefits provided by protected areas

Conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity


Recreation
Prevention of erosion on watersheds
Provision of clean water to cities
Provision of clean air
Control of biological pests
Preservation of medicinal and genetic resources
Maintenance of harvestable resources
Soil regeneration
Nutrient cycling
Carbon sequestration/climatic regulation

Core Reserves
SLOSS = single large or several small
Minimum Critical Area: The minimum size needed to support
viable populations of constituent species

Minimum Dynamic Area:

The minimum size needed to


absorb large disturbances and still maintain colonization sources and
viable populations

Redundancy
Representativeness
Gap Analysis

National Gap Analysis Program


The mission of the Gap Analysis Program (GAP) is to provide regional
assessments of the conservation status of native vertebrate species and
natural land cover types and to facilitate the application of this information
to land management activities. This is accomplished through the following
five objectives:

1.

map the land cover of the United States

2.

map predicted distributions of vertebrate species for the U.S.

3.

document the representation of vertebrate species and land cover


types in areas managed for the long-term maintenance of
biodiversity
4.

provide this information to the public and those entities charged


with land use research, policy, planning, and management

5.
build institutional cooperation in the application of this
information to state and regional management activities.

Status of the Gap Analysis Program

Vegetation/landcover:
picture is Lake Champlain
lowlands from VT Gap Project

Overlaid on

Vertebrate species
distributions: picture
is bat diversity in
Washington state from
WA Gap Project

Overlaid on
maps of
protected areas

Result: Biologically important areas


left out of protected areas system are
recommended for future protection

Marine Protected Areas of the World

Hawaiian Islands National Marine Monument:


Largest marine reserve in the world
140,000 sq. miles

Protected Areas for


Individual
Commercial Fish
Species

Protected Areas
as Population
Sources for
entire
commercial
fisheries

Nodes and MUMs (Noss and Harris 1986)

Buffer

Buffer

Buffers

Standards and guidelines prescribe management actions and policies that maintain habitat features
and connectivity around core.
Human uses are accommodated if they dont compromise the primary objective of the core.
Can include several layers or concentric circles of buffering, with decreasing levels of protection
moving away from the core
Buffers often exist on paper but mean little in reality due to lack enforcement or conflicts with local
communities, land tenure, etc.
Examples

UNESCOs Man and the Biosphere Programme Biosphere reserves


Yellowstone, Olympic National Park, Smokey Mountains National Park Is it working?

Integrated Conservation and Development Programs (ICDP) internationally sponsored projects, including
indigenous extractive reserves, in developing nations

MAB Biosphere Reserves in the United States

Te
Co rre
rri stri
do al
r

Terrestrial Corridors
Pros
Species for which the corridors provide effective dispersal habitat
can use them
Helps maintain demographic (and thus genetic) interaction
between populations
Provide landscape features with other, indirect benefits, such as
wind breaking, run-off reduction, soil stabilization, etc.

Cons

May be a sink for a subset of species


May expose dispersing individuals to predation
Animals may not find or use them
Hard to establish wide enough (and long enough) corridors in
populated landscapes

Source: Bo Wilmer

Riparian Corridor

Riparian Corridors
Pros
dendritic networks form an extensive system of potential
corridors
Many species prefer to move along riparian corridors
Links together aquatic ecosystems
Corridors act as riparian buffers, so they provide other ecological
functions, such as bank stabilization, in-stream shade, habitat for
riparian dependent species, etc.

Cons
Some terrestrial species wont use them.
They dont entirely link together headwater areas or provide lateral
linkages in lowland areas they dont always connect the core
area you need connected!

Connectivity: Have to think about


aquatic ecosystem connectivity too!

Non-corridor Connectivity Approaches


Provide a variety of habitats structures across the landscape and in intervening areas
between core reserves.
These might include:
- Smaller patches and blocks of habitat
- A mosaic of patches that provides the mix of habitat types needed to support
dispersing animals
- Forest stands managed to dispersal habitat standards
- Individual structures, such as snags and scattered larger trees.
- Long-rotation forestry; gradient-of-retention forestry
- Protection for special habitats, such as caves, talus slopes, other rocky out-croppings,
wetlands, seeps, etc.
Example: the Northwest Forest Plan used a combination of riparian buffers and
structural retention in managed areas to provide connectivity, but decided not to use
discrete terrestrial corridors

Late-Successional
Reserves Designated by
the Northwest Forest
Plan

From: Vogt, K.A., J.C. Gordon, J.P. Wargo,


D.J. Vogt, H. Asbjornsen, P.A. Palmiotto,
H. J. Clark, J.L. OHara, W.S. Keeton, T.
Patel-Weynand, and E. Witten. 1997.
Ecosystems: Balancing Science with
Management. Springer-Verlag.

Demonstration of Ecosystem
Management Options

15 trees per acre:


How effective is
this ecologically?

Te
rre

Wetland
Restoration

str
ial
R

es
to
ra
ti

on

Riparian
Restoration

Restoration Areas
Restoration is the return of a degraded ecosystem to a close approximation of its
remaining natural potential.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies principles of good restoration:
Preserve and protect aquatic resources
Restore ecological integrity
Restore natural structure
Restore natural function
Work within the watershed and broader landscape context
Understand the natural potential of the watershed
Address ongoing causes of degradation
Develop clear, achievable, and measurable goals
Focus on feasibility
Use a reference site
Anticipate future changes
Involve the skills and insights of a multi-disciplinary team
Design for self-sustainability
Use passive restoration, when appropriate
Restore native species and avoid non-native species
Use natural fixes and bioengineering techniques, where possible
Monitor and adapt where changes are necessary

Matrix

Matrix

Matrix
Matrix provides the primary area for intensive resource use, including
extractive uses and more intensive recreational development.
Matrix is very important ecologically. Why?

It is the dominant patch type covers the largest area


So probably includes much, if the not majority, of the biodiversity
Determines the level of connectivity
Strongly influences the effectiveness of reserves
Produces ecosystem goods and services for people

Standards and guidelines on public lands, or other incentives or


collaborative-based approaches on private lands, help maintain some
level of habitat protection and ecosystem functioning.
Site-suitability standards that prescribe the site-specific
appropriateness of management activities.

Matrix
Large
Core
Reserve
Buffer

Matrix

Riparian Corridor
Te
rre

str
ial
R

Te
Co rre
rri stri
do al
r

es
to
ra
ti

on

Riparian
Restoration

Wetland
Restoration

Matrix

Large
Core
Reserve
Intensively modified
areas/urban/low potential

Buffer

Small
Core
Reserve

Where will the functional


landscape approach work?
The functional landscape approach will involve a
range of strategies depending on context.
Can fully implement on large-ownerships, such as
in the western U.S., portions of the northern forest
bioregion, southern Appalachian region, etc.
Need other approaches in private and small
ownership dominated landscapes

Strategies for private land


dominated landscapes

Tax incentives
Property tax reform
Conservation easements
Information sharing
Watershed
groups/coordination
Community-based forestry
and tourism
Wildland, wetland, or forest
mitigation banks

Fostering sense of
place
Green certification
Planning and land-use
zoning
Subsidies: some like
them, some dont
Public lands acquisition
Regulation through
environmental statutes

Tax-Based Approaches
Tax incentives
Property tax reform

Easements
Conservation
easements
Transfer of
development rights

Information Sharing
Information transfer
Community/watershed groups
White River
Partnership:
Local
governments/towns
State agencies
Federal agencies
Conservation
groups

Conservation Banks
Wildlands, wetlands, and forests
http://nature.org/aboutus/projects/forestbank/

Fostering Sense of Place

Regulation, Subsidies, or
Acquisition?
Land and Water Conservation Fund, est. 1965
-Authorized to spend $900 million annually
- Only met twice in 42 years
-FY 2007: Enacted Allocation: $143,000,000
- to Forest Service, Park Service, BLM,
Fish and Wildlife Service, and State grants