Standing in a forest you are surrounded by movement. Even as you still your breath you can hear the leaves on the ground twitch and rustle, and the green around you waves in the wind. Imagine you can feel the ground beneath your toes. Imagine sweet pine scent kisses your nose. Are you separate from this place in this moment? Or are you, too, a natural being? [Read more…]
New relationships are defined by the unknown, and in a complex new relationship harmony is served best when all parties are listening closely. Ecosystems are some of the most complex networks of interaction, calling for keen responsiveness on the part of the people who manage them. In the face of such complexity and uncertainty, adaptive management (A.M.) has become the approach of choice for many land managers.
The Department of the Interior defines an A.M. approach as one that is, “not a ‘trial and error’ process, but rather emphasizes learning while doing.” Discrete scientific studies cannot respond to ecological processes quickly enough, so A.M. calls for continuous monitoring of ecosystems to evaluate the effectiveness of management decisions. A.M. is implemented differently across projects with varied success. You can explore case studies of A.M. here. A common feature is that these projects only evaluate their effectiveness every few months or years.
Rural System, Inc. intends to optimize the A.M. process, with the help of GIS and prescriptive software, as an innovative approach not only to environmental conservation, but also to profitable, sustained land use. [Read more…]