Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States
- Credible: aligned with the latest science and acceptable methods and reviewed by experts. Not the best available science, because that is often not feasible—requiring expertise, capacity, resources and time that managers do not have.
- Feasible: uses methods that require little or no specialized training in ecosystem services for a first order consideration or assessment of alternatives and development of metrics for monitoring. Can integrate easily with a second order, more quantitative or complex methodology run by specialists.
- Consistent: uses a common approach, terminology, set of interventions, outcomes, and metrics; and lays the ground for a common set of methods for predictive models and monitoring.
- Transparent: emphasizes use of a common framework—an ecosystem services conceptual/logic model—which forces a clear illustration of what ecosystem services are being considered, how they are connected to resource management and to wellbeing (social and economic impacts).
- Flexible: the primary framework—the ecosystem services models—are designed to be adaptable to specific contexts and uses. They are the basis for a series of different applications depending on resource manager’s needs: team understanding; stakeholder engagement; educational materials; beneficiary and equity consideration; selection of metrics for monitoring, scaffold for evidence assessment and identification of research needs; and a framework for development of predictive models.
2. Materials and Methods
- metrics addressed by other national forests that had completed their plans under the 2012 Planning Rule, listed on the USFS planning website https://www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule (accessed on 1 December 2020);
- items identified in the USFS Resource Planning Act (RPA)–Land Management Plan Data Catalogue that links RPA data products with Plan directives , and
- Attribution: Would you expect to see a change in this metric due to the management alternatives? Is the signal greater than the noise?
- Scale: On what spatial and temporal scales would it make sense to measure the metric? Would this work for an individual forest project or would it work better for an aggregate measure of multiple projects (cumulative effects) for the forest or watershed or region?
- Equity: Can the metric show how the outcome is distributed across different communities, including underrepresented communities or tribes?
- Data sources: Is there existing data collection to support this metric, or would new data need to be collected?
- Feasibility: Is this a realistic metric, given the available data and additional work that would be required to measure it?
- SMART: Is it a SMART metric—specific, measurable and repeatable, attainable, relevant, time bound, and at the right spatial scale .
3.1. Adapting and Specifiying an Ecosystem Services Concetual Model for Forest Planning
3.1.1. Translating a Project Planning and Management Model into a Forest Plan Model
- Spatial and temporal scale: The project scale model is based on management for a particular place and time, likely one forest type with common management goals, whereas a forest plan covers many different habitats (upland forest, wetlands, remote vs. high visitation sites) and multiple recreational management goals (hunting, camping, grazing, carbon storage, access) across a forest. Normally a project scale model, once applied to a specific site, would have details on key species, recreational activities, and outcomes (yellow boxes) that would be affected by the management action under consideration. Because the planning model has to apply more broadly it tends to maintain more generic categories for all of these.
- Management actions (dark blue boxes): The recreational management actions in the project scale model are very specific—trail creation and maintenance, road creation and maintenance, and facilities construction. In contrast, the forest plan mostly focuses on broader objectives and desired conditions across the Forest such as changes in access—motorized access and special use permits—and the extent of different types of recreation opportunities to be offered, e.g., undeveloped areas and recreational destination areas.
- Alternatives (dark blue boxes): For the project scale model, management actions are either included, e.g., a trail is being created or maintained, or it is not and would be dropped from the model. In contrast, for the forest plan model, broader strategy options (alternatives) are considered to increase or decrease access and extent of different types of recreational activity opportunities offered. These are not yet formulated into specific on-the-ground projects.
- Level of detail: While the project scale model includes significant detail on the biophysical and ecological changes (shown in light gray) linking the management and the socio-economic outcomes. These were viewed as less important to include in the planning models where we were focused on identifying social and economic outcomes.
3.1.2. Specifying Ecosystem Service Outcomes for the Ashley National Forest Plan ESCM
3.1.3. Facilitating a Common Understanding of Management Impacts for the ESCM
3.1.4. Exploring the Use of a Simplified ESCM for Stakeholder Communication
3.2. Selection of Ecosystem Service Metrics
3.3. Feedback from the Ashley Forest Planning Team
4.1. Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models Provide a Visual Tool for Facilitating a Common Understanding of Management Impacts
4.2. Ecosystem Service Metrics Identificaiton Process Expands Ideas for Relevant Measures
Conflicts of Interest
- Reid, W.V.; Al, E. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; Island Press: Washington, DC, USA, 2005; ISBN 978-1-59726-040-4. [Google Scholar]
- Haines-Young, R.; Potschin, M. Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES): 2011 Update; Nottingham: Report to the European Environmental Agency: London, UK, 2011. [Google Scholar]
- Maes, J.; Egoh, B.; Willemen, L.; Liquete, C.; Vihervaara, P.; Schägner, J.P.; Grizzetti, B.; Drakou, E.G.; La Notte, A.; Zulian, G. Mapping Ecosystem Services for Policy Support and Decision Making in the European Union. Ecosyst. Serv. 2012, 1, 31–39. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Bouwma, I.; Schleyer, C.; Primmer, E.; Winkler, K.J.; Berry, P.; Young, J.; Carmen, E.; Špulerová, J.; Bezák, P.; Preda, E. Adoption of the Ecosystem Services Concept in EU Policies. Ecosyst. Serv. 2018, 29, 213–222. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Gibbons, J.; Young, J. Teaming with Life: Investing in Science to Understand and Use America’s Living Capital; President’s Committee of Advisors for Science and Technology, Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Washington, DC, USA, 1998. [Google Scholar]
- Holdren, J.P.; Lander, E. Report to the President, Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy; Executive Office of the President, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology: Washington, DC, USA, 2011. [Google Scholar]
- Donovan, S.; Goldfuss, C.; Holdren, J. Memorandum for Executive Departments and Agencies: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decision Making. 2015. Available online: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2016/m-16-01.pdf (accessed on 28 January 2021).
- US Forest Service National Forest System Land Management Planning, Final Rule, 36 C.F.R. 219 2012. Available online: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5362536.pdf (accessed on 3 December 2020).
- Montréal Process Working Group. Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests; The Montréal Process: Beijing, China, 2015. [Google Scholar]
- Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960; U.S. Congress: Washington, DC, USA, 1960.
- Jaworski, D.; Kline, J.D.; Miller, C.; Ng, K.; Retzlaff, M.; Eichman, H.; Smith, D. Evaluating Ecosystem Services as Management Outcomes in National Forest and Grassland Planning Assessments; United States Department of Agriculture: Washington, DC, USA, 2018; Volume 968. [CrossRef]
- Robertson, G.; Gaulke, P.; McWilliams, R.; LaPlante, S.; Guldin, R. National Report on Sustainable Forests—2010; United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Washington, DC, USA, 2011.
- Skog, K.; Alexander, S.; Cordell, K.; Emery, M.; Howard, J.; LaPlante, S.; Magis, K.; McDonough, M.; Mercer, E. Evaluating the Sustainability of Socio-Economic Benefits from Forests for the United States Using Montreal Criterion 6 Indicators. In Proceedings of the Session B-07: Reporting on Sustainability of Temperate and Boreal Forests Using Criteria and Indicators: Part 2, XXIII IUFRO World Congress, Seoul, Korea, 23–28 August 2010; International Union of Forest Research Organizations: Vienna, Austria, 2010. [Google Scholar]
- Ryan, C.M.; Cerveny, L.K.; Robinson, T.L.; Blahna, D.J. Implementing the 2012 Forest Planning Rule: Best Available Scientific Information in Forest Planning Assessments. For. Sci. 2018, 64, 159–169. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- National Ecosystem Services Partnership Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services Guidebook. Available online: https://nespguidebook.com/ (accessed on 8 December 2020).
- Olander, L.P.; Johnston, R.J.; Tallis, H.; Kagan, J.; Maguire, L.A.; Polasky, S.; Urban, D.; Boyd, J.; Wainger, L.; Palmer, M. Benefit Relevant Indicators: Ecosystem Services Measures that Link Ecological and Social Outcomes. Ecol. Indic. 2018, 85, 1262–1272. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Olander, L.; Johnston, R.J.; Tallis, H.; Kagan, J.; Maguire, L.A.; Polasky, S.; Urban, D.; Boyd, J.; Wainger, L.; Palmer, M. Best Practices for Integrating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decision Making; National Ecosystem Services Partnership, Duke University: Durham, NC, USA, 2015. [Google Scholar]
- Mandle, L.; Shields-Estrada, A.; Chaplin-Kramer, R.; Mitchell, M.G.E.; Bremer, L.L.; Gourevitch, J.D.; Hawthorne, P.; Johnson, J.A.; Robinson, B.E.; Smith, J.R.; et al. Increasing Decision Relevance of Ecosystem Service Science. Nat. Sustain. 2020, 4, 161–169. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ecosystem Services Toolkit for Natural Resource Management. Available online: https://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/project/ecosystem-services-toolkit-for-natural-resource-management (accessed on 8 December 2020).
- Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models & Socio-Economic Indicators (GEMS). Available online: https://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/project/gems (accessed on 8 December 2020).
- Olander, L.P.; Urban, D.; Johnston, R.J.; Van Houtven, G.; Kagan, J. Proposal for Increasing Consistency When Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision Making; National Ecosystem Services Partnership, Duke University: Durham, NC, USA, 2016. [Google Scholar]
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Effective Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico; The National Academies Press: Washington, DC, USA, 2016; ISBN 978-0-309-44037-0. [Google Scholar]
- Tallis, H.; Kreis, K.; Olander, L.; Ringler, C. Bridge Collaborative Practitioner’s Guide: Principles and Guidance for Cross-Sector Action Planning and Evidence Evaluation; The Nature Conservancy: Washington, DC, USA, 2017. [Google Scholar]
- Potschin-Young, M.; Haines-Young, R.; Görg, C.; Heink, U.; Jax, K.; Schleyer, C. Understanding the Role of Conceptual Frameworks: Reading the Ecosystem Service Cascade. Ecosyst. Serv. 2018, 29, 428–440. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Wainger, L.; Ervin, D. The Valuation of Ecosystem Services from Farms and Forests Informing a Systematic Approach to Quantifying Benefits of Conservation Programs (Synthesis Chapter); C-FARE Reports; Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE): Washington, DC, USA, 2017. [Google Scholar]
- Salafsky, N. Integrating Development with Conservation: A Means to a Conservation End, or a Mean End to Conservation? Biol. Conserv. 2011, 144, 973–978. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Margoluis, R.; Stem, C.; Swaminathan, V.; Brown, M.; Johnson, A.; Placci, G.; Salafsky, N.; Tilders, I. Results Chains: A Tool for Conservation Action Design, Management, and Evaluation. Ecol. Soc. 2013, 18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Kelble, C.R.; Loomis, D.K.; Lovelace, S.; Nuttle, W.K.; Ortner, P.B.; Fletcher, P.; Cook, G.S.; Lorenz, J.J.; Boyer, J.N. The EBM-DPSER Conceptual Model: Integrating Ecosystem Services into the DPSIR Framework. PLoS ONE 2013, 8, e70766. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Olander, L.; Mason, S.; Warnell, K.; Tallis, H. Building Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models; National Ecosystem Services Partnership Conceptual Model Series; Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Duke University: Durham, NC, USA, 2018. [Google Scholar]
- Brown, C.; Reyers, B.; Ingwall-King, L.; Mapendembe, A.; O’Farrell, P.; Dixon, M.; Nel, J.; Bowles-Newark, N.J. Measuring Ecosystem Services: Guidance on Developing Ecosystem Service Indicators; United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi, Kenya, 2014. [Google Scholar]
- Value of Nature to Canadians Study Taskforce. Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making: An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts; Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments of Canada: Ottawa, ON, Canada, 2017. [Google Scholar]
- Fire Management. Available online: https://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/project/ecosystem-services-toolkit-for-natural-resource-management/conceptual-model-collection/fire-management (accessed on 8 December 2020).
- Assessment Report Team. Assessment Report of Ecological, Social, and Economic Conditions on the Ashley National Forest; U.S. Forest Service: Washington, DC, USA, 2017.
- U.S Forest Service RPA—LMP Data Catalog 2020. Available online: https://www.fs.fed.us/research/rpa/links.php (accessed on 16 December 2020).
- USDA Forest Service, NRM NRM NVUM Results. Available online: https://apps.fs.usda.gov/nvum/results (accessed on 8 December 2020).
- English, D.B.K.; White, E.M.; Bowker, J.M.; Winter, S.A. A Review of the Forest Service’s National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) Program. Agric. Resour. Econ. Rev. 2020, 49, 64–90. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Flores, D.; Falco, G.; Roberts, N.S.; Valenzuela, F.P. Recreation Equity: Is the Forest Service Serving Its Diverse Publics? J. For. 2018, 116, 266–272. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Doran, G.T. There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives. Manag. Rev. 1981, 70, 35–36. [Google Scholar]
- NESP. Context Document: USFS Recreation Management ESCM; National Ecosystem Services Partnership, Duke University: Durham, NC, USA, 2019. [Google Scholar]
- U.S. Forest Service Forest Service Handbook 1909.15. In Forest Service Handbook; U.S. Forest Service: Washington, DC, USA, 2013.
- U.S. Forest Service Environmental Analysis. In National Environmental Policy Act Handbook; U.S. Forest Service: Washington, DC, USA, 2012.
|Economic Activity–Management||Recreation facility management|
|Ease of access||X|
|Cultural value–Traditional uses||X|
|Cultural value–Other||Cultural value–other (community uses)|
|Cultural value—Tribal resource use, cultural site condition, solitude, crowding||X|
|Human health–Mental health and psychological well-being, physical health, water-related illness or death, respiratory illness or death||X|
|Human health–Fire-related illness or death, tick-borne disease||X|
|Social cost of greenhouse gas emissions||X|
|Outcome Group||Outcome||Metric||Planning or Implementation Level?|
|Economic activity||Recreation facility management||Total direct expenditures on management to implement the Forest Plan alternative. May be monetary or categorical method (increase, no change, decrease)||Planning|
|Deferred maintenance costs and change in deferred maintenance backlog. Monetary method.||Implementation|
|Cultural value||Cultural site|
|Potential for conflict/competition between authorized uses and cultural site use. Categorical (increased risk, no change, decrease risk)||Planning|
|Potential for damage/degradation to archaeological sites and heritage resources caused by authorized uses (recreational use, infrastructure construction, timber harvest) - this includes both above ground and below ground heritage resources. Categorical method.||Planning|
|Accessibility||Accessibility (ABA facilities)||Number of accessible parking spaces, toilets.||Implementation|
|Change in accessibility of facilities for forest plan alternatives using access/quality of experience matrix. Categorical method.||Planning|
|Ease of access||Ease of access (to recreational opportunities)||Change in access to recreation opportunities (hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.) for forest plan alternatives. Categorical (access/quality of experience matrix)||Planning|
|Change in access to recreation opportunities (hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.) realized. Surveys.||Implementation|
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Olander, L.; Warnell, K.; Warziniack, T.; Ghali, Z.; Miller, C.; Neelan, C. Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States. Forests 2021, 12, 267. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030267
Olander L, Warnell K, Warziniack T, Ghali Z, Miller C, Neelan C. Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States. Forests. 2021; 12(3):267. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030267Chicago/Turabian Style
Olander, Lydia, Katie Warnell, Travis Warziniack, Zoe Ghali, Chris Miller, and Cathleen Neelan. 2021. "Exploring the Use of Ecosystem Services Conceptual Models to Account for the Benefits of Public Lands: An Example from National Forest Planning in the United States" Forests 12, no. 3: 267. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030267