Graduate Project

 

The Use of Effectiveness Monitoring and Reporting for Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Within the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program 2010-2018 Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/5138jm578

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  • The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) is a collection of large-scale restoration projects across the United States that are striving to improve many economic, social, and ecological sustainability issues, including the condition of fish and wildlife habitat. Effectiveness monitoring is a specific type of monitoring that is critically important in restoration because it is how managers and stakeholders discover the extent to which the outcomes of a project meet the intended goals, which forms the basis for adaptive management. The purpose of this case study is to create a baseline status assessment on the use of effectiveness monitoring and reporting for fish and wildlife habitat restoration in the CFLRP in order to help begin a discussion about how these processes might be improved. The objective of this case study is to synthesize the projects’ responses from the 2014 Ecological Indicator Report and the 2018 Annual Report to answer the following three questions: (1) Do the projects believe they have made good progress towards their fish and wildlife habitat restoration goals, and what information have they used to make this determination? (2) What are the projects’ specific habitat restoration goals and focal animal species? (3) How many of the projects have used effectiveness monitoring? Approximately half of the projects believe they are making good progress towards their fish and wildlife habitat restoration goals, and most of the rest believe they are making fair progress. The projects have used a variety of information to make these determinations, but they’ve depended most heavily on FACTS and WIT, two Forest Service databases that track forest and watershed improvement activities. Across the program, the projects have declared a variety of different habitat restoration goals and focal animal species, with the most common emphasis placed on open forest habitat, special status species, and birds. According to the information in the reports, 65% of projects are accomplishing or on their way to accomplishing effectiveness monitoring for wildlife habitat and 22% of projects are accomplishing or on their way to accomplishing effectiveness monitoring for fish habitat. However, it is unclear from these reports whether 13% of the projects are doing effectiveness monitoring for wildlife habitat and whether 22% of the projects are doing effectiveness monitoring for fish habitat. This uncertainty points to a weakness at the interface between monitoring and reporting. In 2018, I worked with the Forest Service to develop a more detailed and standardized reporting template to gather accurate information on the use of effectiveness monitoring for fish and wildlife habitat in the CFLRP. I provide a copy of this revised reporting template, describe the process of how it was developed, and describe how it will help improve restoration outcomes in the CFLRP. I recommend that this new template be completed by all the projects in 2019, and that response data be subsequently analyzed and shared with the public.
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