USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Synthesis of spatially-explicit sustainability indicators for the Tahoe Basin

Principal Investigators:
David Saah, Spatial Informatics Group, LLC
Chad Praul, Environmental Incentives, LLC

Proposal [pdf]

Final Report [pdf]

FTP site for accessing GIs and data files
Spatial Informatics Group website

Please contact Dr. David Saah with questions regarding the final report.

Project Summary

The goal of this project was to develop a decision-support framework that would facilitate simple and consistent communication of the sustainability impacts and benefits of projects and policies in Lake Tahoe using spatially-explicit data. The framework was developed through substantial consultation with a working group of local subject-area experts, and a rigorous indicator selection approach. The initial iteration of the framework is designed with a pre-selected set of indicators for the evaluation of redevelopment projects, specifically, but can be applied for custom evaluations of any individual project or policy using the indicators selected for redevelopment projects as well as additional indicators provided.

The framework evaluation tool produces a sustainability score for each of the three pillars of sustainability (i.e., economic, environmental, and community), for the project or policy evaluated. These scores are produced by manually selecting a project effect category for each indicator, which are automatically linked to a numeric rating, and averaged across all of the indicators within a particular sustainability pillar. The framework and tool was pilot tested with two real-work redevelopment projects in order to demonstrate how they can be used, and to test the tool’s usefulness. Management considerations are forwarded in regards to future management, use and improvements to the framework to improve its capabilities and expand its applications over time.