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Title: Aligning ecological model development with restoration project planning
Authors: McKay, S. Kyle.
Richards, Nathan S.
Swannack, Todd S.
Keywords: Restoration ecology
Environmental management
Environmental protection
Stream restoration
Publisher: Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Note (Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC/TN EMRRP-SR-89
Abstract: Models contribute vitally to ecosystem conservation and restoration decision-making. Restoration project planning in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) may proceed rapidly from project conception to feasibility-level design through a series of sequential decisions, which iteratively articulate the federal interest, quantify the benefits and costs of competing management actions, and reduce uncertainty in project outcomes. In this process, numerical tools are applied to purposes as diverse as enhancing understanding of complex ecological processes, comparing alternative management actions, and building trust and buy-in among stakeholders. Owing to the relatively short planning horizon (typically three years) and high complexity of USACE projects (typically large-scale or watershed-scale actions), there is a perception that ecological models cannot be developed during project planning. This technical note addresses this misconception through three mechanisms. First, the ecological model development process is presented along with examples of modeling misconceptions observed in other agencies and management contexts. Second, common uses of ecological models are explicitly mapped to the USACE planning processes, timelines, and milestones. Third, an example of ecological model development and review is presented for an ongoing USACE watershed restoration study in Proctor Creek, Atlanta, Georgia. From these three lines of evidence, we conclude that ecological model development is not only possible in USACE studies, it is integral and complementary to the goals of the agency’s planning process.
Description: Technical Note
Gov't Doc #: ERDC/TN EMRRP-SR-89
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Size: 9 pages / 875.8 Kb
Types of Materials: PDF
Appears in Collections:Technical Note

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