The 1996 Biodiversity Handbook "Model Process"
The 1996 DoD biodiversity handbook.
In applying an ecosystem approach to biodiversity conservation, process is key.
As recommended by the 1995 Keystone Dialogue, the first edition of this handbook
was structured around a "model process," which was used as the primary
means for putting the theory of ecosystem management into a practical framework
for use at the installation level (Box 1.2, Figure 1.10). This model process
was developed based on experience gained in applying an ecosystems approach
at several installations, such as Eglin Air Force Base. It was intended to serve not
as a cookbook approach to planning and management, but rather as a starting
point or general blueprint, which could be customized according to the specific
conditions and needs of an individual installation. Although this model process
is not used as the central organizing structure of the current handbook edition,
this framework still has great value, and is summarized here. For a more in-depth
treatment of this planning approach, the reader should consult Leslie et al. (1996).
The primary objective of the model process was to ensure that the best information
is applied to management decision-making, and secondarily, to allow
managers to learn as they manage. Because no planning process is guaranteed to produce results, the following assumptions are prerequisites for success in use of
this model process: (1) Compliance with the letter and spirit of federal, state, and
local laws is paramount; (2) developing a working understanding of the structure,
composition, and function of the regional and installation ecosystems is essential;
(3) maintaining the integrity and resiliency of natural systems (that is, maintaining
representative and functional ecosystems) is in the best interest of the military
mission; (4) no one manager or set of resources managers has all of the information
and training necessary to make the correct decisions all of the time; (5) thus,
involvement of outside scientists and managers is necessary and essential to success and acceptance; (6) stakeholder values and needs are important and help drive
the process; (7) being proactive is preferable to being reactive; and lastly, (8) decision-makers must be willing to make fundamental changes when necessary.
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