Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project, Final Report to Congress, Volume II, Assessments and Scientific Basis for Management Options, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources, Report No. 37, University of California, Davis, California
The Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (SNEP) case-study assessmentof the Mammoth-June Ecosystem Management Project(MJEMP) was undertaken to review and analyze the efficacy of alocal landscape analysis in achieving ecosystem-management objectivesin the Sierra Nevada. Of primary interest to SNEP was applicationof the new U.S. Forest Service (USFS) regional process forlandscape analysis, especially use of historic and natural range ofvariability. An underlying assumption in current USFS approaches isthat managing lands within historical and natural ranges of variabilitywill promote ecological sustainability. Another assumption of interestto SNEP is that social goals can be incorporated into ecological goalsto arrive at integrated management objectives. Success in describinghistorical condition varied considerably by ecological indicator. Afew quantitative measures were developed for short- (decade) tomedium-term (several centuries) periods, but many descriptions werequalitative, highly inferential, and based on very short-term studies.If the intent were to develop desired conditions from scientificallydefensible, quantitative descriptions of historical variabilities, theMJEMP analyses would be inadequate; the team found that it wasdifficult to take a science-based approach when there was not time,budget, or qualifications to do the science. For the MJEMP team,however, the value of historic data was not to develop a desired conditionthat mimicked past structural conditions, but to be informedabout natural processes and how they can be severely disrupted byhuman activities (present and past). Thus, the information obtainedby the MJEMP was useful for describing the status, trends, and apparentchanges in successional pathways caused by humans. Withoutdetailed information about historic ranges of conditions, however,the team had difficulty describing desired future conditions, finding itoversimplified to say they wanted to maintain natural or current conditions.
Millar, C. I. 1996. The Mammoth-June Ecosystem Management Project, Inyo National Forest. Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project, Final Report to Congress, Volume II, Assessments and Scientific Basis for Management Options, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources, Report No. 37, University of California, Davis, California