Monitoring changes in wilderness character
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Monitoring Changes in Wilderness Character. Why, What, and How. Monitoring Changes in Wilderness Character. Peter Landres Ecologist, USDA Forest Service Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. Chris Barns Wilderness Specialist, BLM National Landscape Conservation System

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Monitoring Changes in Wilderness Character

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Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Monitoring Changes inWilderness Character

Why, What, and How


Monitoring changes in wilderness character1

Monitoring Changes inWilderness Character

Peter Landres

Ecologist, USDA Forest Service

Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute

Chris Barns

Wilderness Specialist, BLM National Landscape Conservation System

Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Monitoring Changes inWilderness Character

Review legal and policy mandates

Outline practical stewardship rationale

Define “wilderness character”

Describe monitoring indicators

The Interagency Wilderness Policy Council has said that the 4 wilderness managing agencies will have baseline monitoring for EVERY wilderness completed by 2014


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Monitoring Changes inWilderness Character

Interagency Wilderness Character Monitoring Team

2 from BLM

2 from FWS

2 from FS

2 from NPS

1 from USGS


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character inLaw

“…provide for…the preservation of their wilderness character…”

The Wilderness Act, Sec 2(a)

“…each agency administering any…wilderness shall be responsible for preserving the wilderness character…”

The Wilderness Act, Sec 4(b)

“…administer…to preserve its wilderness character…”

The Wilderness Act, Sec 4(b)


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character inAgency Policy

BLM:43 CFR 6300. Background

8560.02 and .06

FWS:610 FW 1-5

FS: FSM 2320.2 and .14

NPS: NPS 6.1 and .3


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness CharacterWhy Monitor?

Fulfill purpose of the Wilderness Act & improve accountability

Understand consequences of decisions and actions

Integrate stewardship across all staff areas

Provide enduring legacy information

Guard against legal vulnerability


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character inCourt

“…an improper evaluation of the wilderness character of the area….”

Barnes v. Babbitt (D. Ariz.) (2004)

“‘Natural conditions’…are part of the ‘wilderness character’ to be preserved.”

Wilderness Soc. v. USFWS (9th Cir. En banc) (2003)

“…that action degrades the wilderness character….”

Izaak Walton League v. Kimbell (D. Minn.) (2007)

“[The decision] is in direct contradiction of the mandate to preserve the wilderness character.”

OLYM Park Assoc. v. Mainella (West. D. WA) (2005)


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character in Stewardship

improved

Wilderness “X” at time of designation

stable

Wilderness Character

degraded

more

less

Modern Human Influence


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character in Stewardship

improved

Wilderness “X” at time of designation

stable

Wilderness Character

degraded

more

less

Modern Human Influence


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character in Stewardship

improved

Wilderness “X” at time of designation

stable

Wilderness Character

degraded

more

less

Modern Human Influence


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character in Stewardship

improved

Wilderness “X” at time of designation

stable

Wilderness Character

degraded

more

less

Modern Human Influence


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character in Stewardship

“The purpose of the Wilderness Act is to preserve the wilderness character of the areas to be included in the wilderness system, not to establish any particular use.”

Howard Zahniser


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness CharacterWhat Is It?

Wilderness Character is more than the sum of its parts

“an enduring resource of wilderness”

not

“resources”

Wilderness “characteristics”

ARE NOT THE SAME AS

Wilderness Character


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness CharacterWhat Is It?

Wilderness Act of 1964

“wilderness character”

Section 2(c) Definition of Wilderness

Qualities of

Wilderness Character


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

“…an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man…”

“…affected primarily by the forces of nature…”

Unmanipulated

Free

Uncontrolled

Wild


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Degraded by actions that manipulate, control, or hinder “the community of life”

Spraying weeds

Killing predators

Collaring

Suppressing / lighting fires


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Wilderness is essentially unhindered and free from modern human control or manipulation


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

“...protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions….”

Untrammeled: decisions or actions

Natural: effects


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

“...protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions….”

Untrammeled: management decision

Natural: condition of the land


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

“...protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions….”

Vegetation

Wildlife

Air, Water, Soil

Ecological Processes


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Degraded by effects (intended or unintended) of modern civilization

Non-native species

Extirpation

Pollution

Interference with ecological processes


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Wilderness ecological systems are substantially free from the effects of modern civilization


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

“…undeveloped…land retaining…primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements…”

“...where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

“We stand without our mechanisms that make us immediate masters over our environment.”

“In order to assure that…growing mechanization does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States…”

TheWilderness Act, § 2(a)

Howard Zahniser


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Degraded by structures and tools that facilitate our ability to occupy or modify the environment

Structures

Installations

Aircraft

Motors

Mechanical transport


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Wilderness retains its primeval character and influence, and is essentially without permanent improvement or modern human occupation


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

“…outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation…”


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Traditional / Primitive Skills

Challenge & Self-discovery

Connection & Freedom


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Degraded by settings that reduce these opportunities

Encounters

Facilities

Restrictions


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Wilderness provides outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Unique

“may also contain ecological, geological, … scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.”


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Unique

May also be part of Natural quality

Cultural

Paleontological


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Unique

May also be part of Natural quality

Cultural

Paleontological


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Unique

Degraded by

Loss of scientific knowledge

Loss of existence / bequest / spiritual


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Unique

Wilderness may have unique qualities which must be protected consistent with a wilderness context


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Untrammeled

Natural

Undeveloped

Solitude or Primitive and Unconfined Recreation

Unique


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Five distinct and equally important qualities that are inter-related

Each wilderness may have unique aspects of all five qualities

Wilderness character is affected by stewardship decisions to take action or not to take action

There are additional implications:


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Implications for Management

A single action may improve one Quality while degrading another

Example: eradicating non-native invasive species

Control of exotic plants may improve the Natural quality

Control of exotic plants degrades the Untrammeled quality


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Untrammeled

Natural

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Implications for Management

Spraying herbicides to eradicate nonnative plants

Change Relative to 2010 Baseline

??

2025

2020

2015


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

Implications for Management

A single decision or action may degrade more than one Quality

Example: artificial water sources for desert wildlife

Decision to manipulate degrades the Untrammeled quality

Altered water use patterns may degrade the Natural quality

Presence of the structure degrades the Undeveloped quality

Bighorn survival may improve the Natural quality


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Primary purpose is to improve on-the-ground wilderness stewardship

Applies to every wilderness

Provides a national assessment of trends

Uses 13 indicators that were selected to be relevant, credible, cost-efficient

Uses at least one measure per indicator

Uses data that already are (or should be) collected, or are available nationally


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency

Death Valley night sky

Las Vegas

Los Angeles


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character: Qualities

How to Monitor

Determined by agency


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character:

Applying the Strategy

Some measures are counted once every 5-years, some every year

Significance of change defined by agency

Baseline for evaluating change is the time of wilderness designation (if data exist) or the first time this monitoring is conducted

Trend for each indicator is assessed as “improving,” “stable,” or “degrading”

Consistent rules used to roll up indicator trends to assess trend for the entire wilderness once every 5 years


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character:

Applying the Strategy

Does not monitor the full range of conditions and meanings of wilderness character

Does not monitor the full range of resources needed to manage a wilderness

Does not replace specific site, resource, or project monitoring

Does not provide a numerical value or absolute rating of wilderness character

Does not compare one wilderness to another


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Agency-specific Technical Guide

Agency-specific Data Management

Wilderness Character:

Applying the Strategy

Monitoring Trends in Wilderness Character


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character

“We must then do two things: we must see that an adequate system of wilderness areas is designated for preservation; and then we must allow nothing to alter the wilderness character of the preserves.”

H. Zahniser, “Wilderness Forever,” 1961


Monitoring changes in wilderness character

Wilderness Character

For More Information

go to

Wilderness Character Toolbox

on

www.wilderness.net


Monitoring changes in wilderness character2

Monitoring Changes inWilderness Character

Why, What, and How


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