Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Integrated systems approaches are emerging in response to complex natural resource problems that can not be solved by traditional approaches. Our objective is to identify research, education, and policy needs at local, regional, and national levels to support holistic ecosystem management at the watershed scale. The paper is an outcome of a conference econvened by Soil and Water Conservation Society and incorporates participants' ideas and priorities from plenary, poster, and interactive breakout sessions. In holistic approaches to ecosystem management and research, goals should be based on the values and highest priority problems of stakeholders, based on group consensus. It is essential to identify stakeholders early, get them involved in the process, and maintain an interative, open process so that groups and persons not initially identified have opportunities to become involved. The considerable time and effort required to build participation, communication, and trust can pay off through efficient solutions to shared natural resource problems. Recommendatons to policy makers inlcude i) support holistic research and management with broad-based stakeholder involvement; ii) integrate research, education, and management programs to leverage limited resources for maximum impact and effectiveness; iii) support hierarchical research that integrates long- and short-term goals and component research within whole systems; iv) develop reward systems for those who act "outside the box"; and v) establish systematic, communication across local, state, and federal levels to identify and help coordinate diverse activities within a watershed.