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Value-focused framework for defining landscape-scale conservation targets

May 18, 2016

Conservation of natural resources can be challenging in a rapidly changing world and require collaborative efforts for success. Conservation planning is the process of deciding how to protect, conserve, and enhance or minimize loss of natural and cultural resources. Establishing conservation targets (also called indicators or endpoints), the measurable expressions of desired resource conditions, can help with site-specific up to landscape-scale conservation planning. Using conservation targets and tracking them through time can deliver benefits such as insight into ecosystem health and providing early warnings about undesirable trends. We describe an approach using value-focused thinking to develop statewide conservation targets for Florida. Using such an approach allowed us to first identify stakeholder objectives and then define conservation targets to meet those objectives. Stakeholders were able to see how their shared efforts fit into the broader conservation context, and also anticipate the benefits of multi-agency and -organization collaboration. We developed an iterative process for large-scale conservation planning that included defining a shared framework for the process, defining the conservation targets themselves, as well as developing management and monitoring strategies for evaluation of their effectiveness. The process we describe is applicable to other geographies where multiple parties are seeking to implement collaborative, large-scale biological planning.

Publication Year 2016
Title Value-focused framework for defining landscape-scale conservation targets
DOI 10.1016/j.jnc.2016.04.005
Authors Stephanie S. Romañach, Allison M. Benscoter, Laura A. Brandt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal for Nature Conservation
Index ID 70171041
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center