In diverse regions around the country, impending crises over dwindling natural resources and conflicts over land use have given birth to a new approach to environmental management and policymaking. Known as bioregional assessment, the approach gives science and scientists a crucial role in the policymaking process, bringing together experts on a range of issues to assess existing ecological and social conditions and to provide a base of knowledge from which to develop policy options and management decisions.
A number of high-profile assessments have been conducted, and while much has been written on individual projects, little has been done to compare assessments or integrate the lessons they provide. Bioregional Assessments synthesizes the knowledge from many regions by examining the assessment process and detailing a series of case studies from around the country. Each case study, written by knowledgeable leaders from the region, features a detailed description of the project followed by reviews from the perspectives of science, management, and policy.
Case studies examined are the Forest Ecosystem Management Assess ment Team (FEMAT) Assessment; the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Assessments; the Everglades-South Florida Assessments; the Northern Forest Lands Assessments; Southern California Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP); the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project; and the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project.
In addition, the book features introductory chapters that examine the challenges inherent in the assessment of complex regional systems, and the role of science in the assessment process. The concluding chapter provides a synthesis and analysis of the assessment process.
Bioregional assessments are quickly becoming an essential part of ecosystem management. This book provides a unique look at the theory and practice of bioregional assessments, and is an essential volume for resource managers, scientists, policymakers, and anyone involved with formulating or implementing strategies for regional planning and ecosystem management.