MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS
Location: Range Management Research
Title: A holistic strategy for adaptive land management
Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2012
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Duniway, M., Pyke, D.A., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Wills, S.A., Brown, J.R., Karl, J.W., Havstad, K.M. 2012. A holistic strategy for adaptive land management. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 67(4):105A-113A.
Interpretive Summary: New assessment and monitoring tools, including STMs, provide managers with new opportunities to optimize and adapt management. However, a more systematic strategy is needed to effectively integrate and apply these tools. Holistic adaptive land management (HALM) consists of two primary components: problem evaluation and management. Both components include monitoring. Adoption of a core suite of measurements and indicators for long-term monitoring helps ensure that the data collected can be used to address both current and future management questions. Flexible decision trees are used to integrate and apply these tools to specific management objectives. HALM can be used to prioritize management and restoration efforts, design cost-effective assessment and monitoring programs, and implement adaptive management on public and private lands, with a focus on rangelands. BLM’s recent adoption of core indicators and methods already applied by NRCS have created a national standard for rangeland inventory and monitoring, creating opportunities for landscape-scale conservation efforts across public and private rangelands.
Adaptive management is widely applied to natural resources management. Adaptive management can be generally defined as an iterative decision-making process that incorporates formulation of management objectives, actions designed to address these objectives, monitoring of results, and repeated adaptation of management until desired results are achieved. In this paper, we argue for a more holistic and systematic approach to adaptive management. We define holistic, adaptive, land management (HALM) as a refinement of adaptive management that requires (1) a process-based understanding of ecosystem dynamics and ecological mechanisms, (2) a willingness and ability to identify and consider all possible management alternatives, (3) rigorous monitoring of management effects, and (4) constant adaptation of management based on monitoring data and associated observations.