Evaluating and Comparing Various Methods to Create a Regional Ecosystem Framework or Watershed Plan
Environmental Management Systems
Under 1 year
Research Idea Scope
Currently, to implement Eco-Logical, it is critical to either implement or adopt a Regional Ecosystem Framework (REF) or a Watershed Plan for the transportation/conservation planning area. Currently there are many methods for developing watershed assessments or plans, and for developing regional ecosystem frameworks. Many of the developers of different methodologies are working to broaden the geographic scope of regions in which the methods are being used. In addition, regulators are considering inclusion of some of these methods in their regulatory frameworks.
Research is needed to compare the different methodologies, and to analyze their effectiveness in actually providing a meaningful ecological framework which addresses both the total set of regulated resources, and a critical set of overall conservation, transportation, and economic objectives for an area.
Related Research (Added by TERI Administrator, March 2011)
Developing a Regional Ecosystem Framework for Terrestrial and Aquatic Resources along the I-70 Corridor, Colorado; Montana State University, Bozeman, 2008, Active
Urgency and Payoff
Currently, it is impossible for transportation agencies to evaluate which methods for creating a REF are likely to either be most effective in providing guidelines for addressing regulated resources and regulator concerns; or for providing the most efficient provision of ecosystem services and environmental and economic outputs. An analysis of the various methods available may help guide the use and implementation of different methods across the country, and potentially identify standards which could make broadscale implementation of the Eco-Logical framework faster, cheaper and simpler.
James S. Kagan, Institute for Natural Resources