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Friday's Findings - August 6 2021

August 2, 2021

Structured decision making and adaptive management with the Central Valley Project Improvement Act fisheries program…progress? 

Date: August 6, 2021 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: James Peterson, Unit Leader, USGS Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit 

Click here to join the meeting

Call in: +1 202-640-1187

Phone Conference ID: 560 261 550#


Summary: Natural resource decision making is fraught with complexity and uncertainty associated with ecological systems that is further exacerbated when accompanied by multiple competing stakeholder objectives and beliefs. This situation is typified by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act anadromous fish restoration program, where managers are charged with the restoring fish populations and their habitats while considering the objectives of large (50+) and diverse set of stakeholders. This talk describes a structured, multi-phase approach that allowed decision-makers to identify program objectives and guide planning of broad-scale fisheries restoration activities. It will emphasize the importance of using a rapid prototyping process and following up with the development and adherence to a transparent governance framework and decision-making process. The speaker will also discuss flexibility in the structured decision-making process to adapt it to the needs of the stakeholders, the real meaning of “buy-in”, and the importance of allowing stakeholders to make mistakes.  Coarse-resolution decision-support models will be used for evaluating the relative effectiveness of candidate restoration and conservation activities. Finally, the resource-allocation decisions from the last five years that resulted from the process will be discussed and the next steps for inculcating the process.