Initiatives

Online Guidebook

The FRMES project will culminate with publication of an online guidebook describing what ecosystem services are and why their identification and valuation can be useful to federal resource managers and planners. The guidebook provides a framework and methodology for ensuring consistent and credible application of the ecosystem services concept to planning and management efforts. It includes descriptions of how federal agencies are exploring or applying an ecosystem services framework. Laying the groundwork for the guidebook are two papers that explain how the Federal Land Management and Policy Act of 1976 and the National Environmental Policy Act enable or limit agencies’ incorporation of ecosystem services approaches into federal planning and management processes.

The FRMES Guidebook will be unveiled at the A Community on Ecosystem Services Conference in Washington, D.C., December 8–12, 2014. Several events at the conference will focus on this guidebook including:

  • A pre-conference workshop delving into some of the methods for integrating ecosystem services into planning processes
  • A special session reviewing how agencies are integrating ecosystem services into planning and management activities
  • A special session discussing the data and modeling infrastructure needed to successfully conduct ecosystem services assessments nationwide

After the Guidebook launch, NESP will explore opportunities to expand the audiences for the Guidebook and deepen engagement with federal agencies through training, testing the methods, and adding new high quality examples.  Possible areas for future work may (if financial support is available) include:

  • Expanding pilot testing of ecosystem services assessment methods to develop on the ground. experience and credible examples for others to follow, while at the same time training managers to use these methods.
  • Developing Guidebook training materials to facilitate integration into agency specific applications
  • Adapting Guidebook content for other audiences, such as additional federal agencies or state or regional restoration efforts.
  • Identifying gaps in existing data and modeling capacity to conduct nationwide ecosystem services assessments by developing a road map for adapting existing federal research and creating monitoring and survey programs to better collect needed information for improved metrics and ecosystem services assessments.