Resource management often follows an “adaptive management” approach, which allows people to review whether or not they are making progress toward the goals of their project. Monitoring is an essential part of adaptive management because it provides reliable feedback on the effects of a project. Multiparty monitoring involves a diverse group of community members; local, regional, and national interest groups; and public agencies. It is designed to promote mutual learning, as participants work together to better understand project efforts and impacts. By collaboratively identifying issues or ”good questions to ask” we can assess how well a project is meeting desired outcomes, respond to diverse concerns, and identify how management can be adapted to improve results in the future.
We have developed a “multi-party” approach to monitoring that ensures high quality information that supports high confidence among all collaborators. The four key pieces of our monitoring approach are:
- Collaborative development of goals and specific objectives for each major project;
- Collaborative design of general approaches to monitoring, leading to detailed designs by appropriate experts and stakeholders on behalf of all collaborators;
- Conducting field measurements; sometimes these are performed by agency personnel as part of normal operations, and other times by combinations of agency personnel, outside experts, and stakeholder volunteers.
- Synthesis of monitoring data to inform all collaborators about what we have learned, and to support insightful discussions about what we might modify to improve our restoration work.
Our multi-party monitoring approach will evolve as we gain experience working together. Baseline data will be recorded prior to treatments. Monitoring will continue periodically over 15 years, following completion. Permanent transect markers will be established to continue monitoring efforts indefinitely. Colorado Forest Restoration Institute (CFRI) will compile, analyze and store the monitoring data.
In the early winter of 2011, stakeholders were invited to discuss our monitoring priorities for this year, based on anticipated funding. We also tentatively decided that an “all hands on deck” monitoring meeting should occur at least once during the winter, and once (in the field) during the summer. Many important details will need to be developed and addressed throughout the year, so we will use a Monitoring Guidance Committee (MGC) for operational details. The MGC will include key Agency personnel, the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, and other key people needed for particular projects. The work of the MGC will be very transparent, with prompt communication to all stake holders about issues, decisions, etc.; everyone’s input is welcome at all times, though no one is asked to volunteer for all the time-demanding tasks.
2011 Monitoring Projects include: (Click here to download the: UP CFLRP 2011 Multi-Party Monitoring Plan)
- Aspen Browse
- Burn Canyon
- Biomass Assessment
- Invasive Species
- Website Development (Data depository for all stakeholders)
- Unroaded old-growth on Unc Mesas
- Landscape Scale Monitoring