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Recommendations from the Local Unit Criteria and Indicators Development (LUCID) Project Pamela Wright Forest Monitoring Team Leader USFS Inventory and.

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Presentation on theme: "Recommendations from the Local Unit Criteria and Indicators Development (LUCID) Project Pamela Wright Forest Monitoring Team Leader USFS Inventory and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recommendations from the Local Unit Criteria and Indicators Development (LUCID) Project Pamela Wright Forest Monitoring Team Leader USFS Inventory and Monitoring Institute Sustaining the Contexts That Sustain Us: Sustainability Monitoring at the FMU Scale Nancy Lankford Mt. Hood National Forest LUCID Team Leader

2 Sustainability: A Multi-Scaled Quest Sustainability is about the interaction of social, economic and ecological realms Sustainability is a multi-scaled concept: Must work simultaneously on sustainability at multiple scales Although the sustainability quest is shared among scales, the management challenges and the questions change at every scale C&I are tools used to help define, and assess progress towards sustainability – designed at multiple scales

3 Certification Initiatives FSC, AFPA, Smartwood, SCS Certified Forests & Operations Market PressuresGlobal Sustainability Dialogue Santiago Declaration Montreal Process Helsinki Accord National/International Reporting Initiatives National Scale C&I Set National Scale C&I Set Regional Assessments State C&I Reporting Multi-Scaled Sustainability Initiatives: The Context for the LUCID Test Forest Management Unit Initiatives CIFOR Tests CIFOR-NA (Boise) LUCID Community Forest Initiatives Model Forests NAFC, Mexico, FAO Initiatives

4 A tool to establish a dialogue on sustainability and improve management on the ground Forest monitoring designed to help measure progress towards plan objectives and plan decisions Provide information to assist in, and inform, forest management Increasing focus on broader goal of sustainability within an adaptive ecosystem approach to management Why FMU Scale Monitoring? Desire to move away from compartmentalized, input/output monitoring (focus on progress towards desired conditions) Take a systems approach to monitoring that recognizes the complexity of forests/grasslands.

5 Sustaining Systems National Forests and Grasslands are joint production systems – simultaneously, not independently, produce soil, water, air, plant and animal material and benefits that flow from them. Ecosystem management, adaptive management and sustainability based on recognition of complexity and inter- relatedness of our environment Complex Living Systems ~ A group of interrelated, interacting, and interdependent elements that form a complex whole. Given the diverse values for our forests and grasslands a systems approach helps us: We provide for diverse values by sustaining the contexts (the ecological, social and economic systems), the very systems that sustain us.

6 The Link Between Sustainability and Systems Developing monitoring C&I requires identifying the relationship between the C&I framework and the construct of sustainability Many choices in frameworks that may be more or less appropriate depending on the context, scale, questions of focus For the FMU scale and with a focus on answering questions related to the sustainability of an LRMP we choose a framework to allow us to monitor the condition of the subsystems of the joint production system

7 Can We Monitor all of the Parts? If the manager has the responsibility for the trajectory of an FMU we need to monitor its sustainability – not just certain aspects Answer the question -- can the subsystem continue to support the JPS in the future? Monitoring all of subsystem components and processes impossible Must carefully select indicators of various systems to alert us to potential problems before they are serious Each subsystem that operates at FMU scale needs to have one or more indicators of its sustainability measures (no fixed number) that address the expression of the specific subsystem component in that FMU

8 How Did We Define Our Scope Forest Management Unit (FMU)– An area approximating a national forest in its local ecological, social and economic context Flexible definition that is variously scaled because its a mix of both the administrative land management unit and a collage of social, economic and ecological polygons that are relevant to the management of the unit Focus not defined based on the vegetation type/plant community – for example many of National Forests contain a mix of forested and non-forested environments – intent to address it in its entirety Focus on monitoring for assessing progress towards sustainability consistent with questions asked at the scale of an LRMP

9 Examine relationships between scales Develop a strategy to implement C&I monitoring for national forests and grasslands Identify further development and research needs Test feasibility of monitoring and assessment of sustainable systems at the forest management unit scale. LUCID Project Objectives Develop and test a suite of indicators to assess sustainability Explore methods for synthesizing information about sustainability

10 Methods Revise and modify a draft set of FMU-scale C&I developed within a systems framework and adapt them to the unique conditions of each forest regardless of vegetation type/plant community; Develop and design measures and reference values for each indicator; Perform a field test of the suite of C&I; Explore approaches and techniques for analysis and synthesis – for integrating across indicators Conduct a relative sustainability assessment not an absolute determination

11 Lessons Learned: Systems Approach Valuable as an Organizing and Learning Tool I. Hydrologic function M1. Watershed condition index M2. Drought/flood severity index (Palmer) Ecological Systems Sustainability is about the complex whole – the parts and their interactions Collectively build understanding of how the whole, the forest in context, works Identified a process & set of tools to take a systems approach and a common ecological & socio- economic systems framework Puts puts the focus on interpreting the indicator in its context – it adds meaning Frames monitoring of key forest attributes and inter-relationships Better define critical items for monitoring

12 Identified a core suite of systems-based FMU-scale criteria and indicators recommended for examination by National Forests. Flexibility in selection, measurement and assessment is needed to adapt the indicators and develop measures to the contexts and management issues for each National Forest. Core suite of C&I adaptable to the specific conditions of a forest – within systems framework (16/58) Key elements of joint production systems that are common across forests – but broad concepts Treat as a suite but still just a starting point Lessons Learned : Core Suite of C&I

13 The process of engaging the National Forest staff and collaborators in a dialogue about sustainability and sustainability monitoring is invaluable. Focus attention on values Develop models of how system elements and issues are integrated Identify desired future system conditions Engage new partners and communities Serve as basis for discussing public values (a relative assessment of sustainability) rather than an absolute measure of sustainability. Learning about Sustainability FMU-level sustainability monitoring is a way to have an ongoing process to work with the public to have a way to create open dialog with the public

14 Forest Supervisors and their teams found that FMU- scale sustainability monitoring and assessment can be accomplished and can provide valuable information for forest planning and management. Conduct assessment of current situation Prioritize and focus Forest monitoring efforts Help identify priority actions for management and research Emphasizes relationship of Forest to surrounding ecological, socio-economic contexts Help tell the stories of sustainability Lessons Learned: Sustainability Monitoring & Decision-Making

15 Evaluation Report Amendment & Revision Decision Plan Monitoring Plan Implementation National Direction, New Information, etc. The Relationship Between Monitoring and Forest Planning Indicators used for evaluating options Regional scale assessments provide context and identify possible forest issues Forest scale evaluation provides case study for regional assessments Periodic evaluation /assessment of state of systems combines plan monitoring with other monitoring information Critical systems indicators tied to plan decisions and desired conditions Annual monitoring on critical systems components Identify progress towards desired conditions and mid-course adjustments Project scale monitoring organized within common systems framework Identify critical areas for revision Planning cycle series of 3 nested and inter-related loops working at different time scales: vision, strategy and design criteria

16 Scale Matters Systems exhibit properties at a mix of scales No one scale is correct and no single unified scale can be used to describe all systems Different properties of systems are observable at different scales All above applies equally temporally as it does spatially Since systems reveal different characteristics at different scales, the questions (e.g., subsistence) change at every scale consequently the inventory, monitoring and planning activities may change.

17 Shared objectives but different questions and purposes at each scale. Match questions and data to scale and system properties Results are contextualized Tools should complement each other Corporate data and storage systems can facilitate this Building Relationships Between Scales

18 Single scale tool does not address needs at any scale Start by identifying the scalar question and system property Then identify type of scale relationship between conceptually related components Moves away from defining relationships as if they are all mathematically additive (aggregation response) Results in conceptual consistency and measurement flexibility Shared Data Different questions Different analysis Conceptual Relationship Context Adapted measures & reference values Narrative relationships Identifying Scalar Relationships Simple scaling Systems scaling

19 The LUCID test has identified common social, economic, and ecological threads that can be woven together to tell the sustainability stories of our national forests and grasslands. Dale N. Bosworth

20 Applying Lessons Learned Monitoring Guidance Planning rule Forest plan prototype Regional desk guides Wilderness monitoring Training General systems thinking training Systems-based monitoring regional training academy forest revision training Refining Approaches Systems approaches for MIS monitoring Monitoring evaluation Assistance to Forests Monitoring guidance –a process for developing monitoring programs Forests in revision (R1, R9…) Stewardship contracting (R1) R&D Multi-scale sampling relationships Standardized, scale specific monitoring protocols Spatial optimization approaches

21 Implications and Challenges of Scale We frequently apply the wrong scale tool (e.g., a standardized protocol) simply because its available or develop a tool without consciously thinking of what scale we need it for Single scale tools dont adequately address questions at all levels Drive for consistency can overwhelm the utility of the tool For measurement this requires conscious choices: 1.What is your question? 2.What are the system properties? 3.What scale(s) are these properties expressed and measurable at?

22 Scaling Up ~ We desire the ability to use our knowledge of small systems to predict and manage these large- scale systems Simple Scaling: Multiply up a phenomenon observed in a small plot or sample to make a statement about the forest, the region and the world Hierarchical Scaling: This combines moving between systems and scale - in this type of scaling we are interested in the relationships between phenomena in one hierarchical type to another Scaling Up: Analysis, Synthesis and Sampling Drive for consistency and efficiency typically lead to simple scaling – leads to invalid results The idea of relationships or linkages is too often represented as one in which the relationship is mathematically additive (the aggregation scenario)

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