Friday, August 7, 2009

PS 83-90: Balancing risk and return in sustaining environmental services: A review of resource management techniques

Richard Bruton, Dirac Twidwell, and Carissa Wonkka. Texas A&M University


Human resource consumption is increasingly forcing society to prioritize among environmental services.  This competition demands resource professionals to employ a diverse set of management techniques to maximize the production and sustainability of environmental services.  Management strategies are used for two purposes; one purpose is to support current environmental services, while the other is to shift dominance toward an alternate, more desirable service.  We initiated a review that compares commonly applied terrestrial management techniques such as, prescribed fire, fencing, and various chemical and mechanical applications.  For each technique, we evaluated their economic and ecologic profitability and risks associated with their application. 


We found a single management technique varies in its ecological and economic return, depending on its level of risk and if it is used to support or shift from the resources available in the current environmental service.  Findings from this review provide a greater level of understanding on the effectiveness of current management strategies and identify critical areas where alternate strategies need to be substituted to sustain the productivity of valuable environmental services.