A structured decision framework to identify shared opportunities for decision making among multiple resource management agencies
There is growing evidence that headwater stream ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changing climate and land use, but their conservation is challenged by the need to address the immediate and long-term threats at a landscape scale, often through coordination with multiple management agencies and landowners. A decision faced by managers of headwater systems is how to best manage stream habitats to maximize their suitability for multiple species of conservation concern, including stream salamanders and brook trout. Because streams and terrestrial habitats are linked, decisions relating to land management are linked with stream ecosystem outcomes.
In the context of distributed management authority at a regional level, there are two important scales of objectives: 1) long-term, regional objectives that are difficult to optimize and 2) shorter-term local objectives that operate at the individual management agency scale and are often a part of their mandate and mission. Identifying opportunities for shared decision making among management authorities may lead to improvements in management outcomes at both local and regional scales. This project provides an example of cooperative landscape decision-making to address the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change.