Rarely are sufficient resources available to support the full suite of management actions to promote recovery of a species across their entire distribution. Decision support models are a tool that can inform natural resource management decisions with consideration of the perspectives from a variety of stakeholders who work across large geographic and jurisdictional extents. We offer an example of a decision support model that was developed by several Federal and State natural resource agencies to rank Bull Trout Salvelinus confluentus core areas for prioritizing conservation investment within Oregon, USA. We engaged State level decision makers to identify parameters believed to be influential in determining funding allocations for Bull Trout core areas. Parameters were linked in a model framework that was further refined with input from local Bull Trout experts with knowledge specific to the various core areas. The model produces a relative priority value that is a combination of the conservation risk to the species and the management capacity to address threats. A series of sensitivity analyses suggests that Bull Trout persistence and threat score are most influential in determining the relative priority of a core area, and life-history and genetic diversity are least influential. One of the more powerful products from this work is an interactive web-based application (https://das.ecosphere.fws.gov/public/obts/) that anyone can use to explore how their beliefs in parameter values will affect the relative priority of Bull Trout core areas across Oregon. Our modeling effort is an example of engaging stakeholders with different roles in species recovery and across a large geographic area to create a clearer path forward in allocating limited resources for species recovery. This approach can be employed to address a number of natural resource management situations across species and habitats.
|Title||Engaging stakeholders to develop a decision support model of conservation risk and management capacity to prioritize investments in Bull Trout recovery|
|Authors||William R. Brignon, M. Brian Davis, Stephanie Gunkel, Jason B. Dunham, Michael H. Meeuwig, Chris S Allen, Shaun Clements|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|