This past week the California Tahoe Conservancy and U.S.D.A Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, on behalf of the Lake Tahoe Basin, submitted a one-page $14 million forest management capacity request as part of Governor Brown’s Forest Management Task Force. Social-ecological resilience serves as the foundation for the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership, which anchored this request. Yesterday (September 21) the Governor signed the associated legislation (SB 901) which allocates $1 billion to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Strikingly, most areas of the state, while they may have some regional collaborative groups, do not have strong enough coordination to develop an interagency capacity request that covers their entire geography. We were able to get ahead of the curve by negotiating the capacity request, and presenting a straightforward, compelling example for other areas to consider and adapt to their own needs. While terse, significant deliberation and analysis went into the submission. You can download the request by clicking here.
This coming Monday we’re going to start working with our partners in the larger, encompassing 2.4 million-acre Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative (which includes three National Forests) to develop a complementary request based on the Basin’s model. Over the past year we’ve successfully competed for $35 million in grants, which is a great start but not in itself sufficient to restore forest resilience at the scale of multiple landscapes.
How have you developed interagency requests to increase the capacity for restoring landscape resilience?
Unless otherwise noted, the information presented herein does not represent IUCN’s or the Commission’s position on the matters presented.
Its good to see the prospect of substantial investment in the restoration of forest landscapes. There are a number of key technical documents that can be used to design restoration interventions based on a systemic understanding of the major drivers of undesirable change and anticipated future shocks that enable decision-makers to determine whether restoration is to enhance the resilience of an existing system or to transform it. Given the rapid rate of climate change and the response of species to that change, a transformation may be a better option than attempting to return a forest system to a preexisting state.
Key texts include:
Principles for Landscape Restoration that are soundly based on the concepts of social-ecological system science http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/110/21/8349.full.pdf
Principles for forest landscape restoration which are somewhat less technically demanding than the previous but none-the-less cover the important matters of democratic process and trade-offs between land uses http://www.forestlandscaperestoration.org/what-forest-and-landscape-restoration-flr
Towards principles for enhancing the resilience of ecosystem services https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-environ-051211-123836. This paper lays out the key parts of a social-ecological systems approach, among other things recognising the importance of ecosystem supporting and regulating services for maintaining landscape stability. This provides further arguments for restoration approaches that maintain forest function rather than aiming to restore to a preexisting condition.
Last on the list is the latest toolkit for undertaking resilience assessment and scenario planning for determining strategic direction for systemic interventions http://wayfinder.earth/the-wayfinder-guide/introduction/
Finally, for those who are sceptical about the application of SES resilience to practice, there is a recent paper that describes how the tools were applied in various places and situations in Australia https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479718303888