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Chapter 7 -- Synthesizing an ecosystem restoration strategy

"A policy-making body will not flourish if it relies on written authority to make things happen. It must develop the kind of policy that is so logical, makes such good sense, that other parties participate voluntarily. It must have the kind of policies that involve others at every level so that the policy becomes, not the Council's policy, but the region's policy."

-- Charles Collins, chairman, Northwest Power Planning Council


The approach to ecosystem restoration described here draws on principles from holistic resource management (Savory 1988, Rakha personal communication 1995), adaptive management (Lee 1993), patient-template analysis (Lichatowich et al. 1995), and rapid biotic and ecological response strategy (Frissell et al. 1993). In this context, ecosystem restoration refers to maintenance and improvement of ecosystem conditions in relation to their historic range of variability. Improvement of ecosystem conditions is defined in terms of community goals. A sequence of steps in planning and implementing ecosystem restoration is recommended (Table 37). Although many actions are suggested, final recommendations must emerge from community collaboration and are therefore beyond the scope of this report.


Table 1. Steps in ecosystem restoration planning and degree of coverage in this report.



Discussion in this report:

Step 1

Articulate values, write a mission statement, and set general social, economic, and ecological goals. Community participation is necessary. Identify preferred forms of economic production, especially biological production, including aesthetic, recreational, subsistence, and commodity benefits.

Minimal due to need for community input.

Step 2

Organize ecosystem information and identify potential management actions, research needs, and monitoring methods.


Step 3

Integrate values and ecosystem information into a strategy.

a) Evaluate proposed actions, future trends, risks, and benefits.

b) Determine whether community goals can be met by the proposed methods, given the productive capacity of the ecosystem.

c) Synthesize selected actions into a restoration strategy that operates in multiple time frames and includes monitoring and hypothesis testing.

Partial and tentative due to need for community dialogue concerning values and goals.

Step 4

Implement the selected strategy including monitoring.

Glean new knowledge from monitoring results.


Step 5

Return to Step 1 or 2 for the next iteration.



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