THE EASTSIDE EDGE
MAY 6, 1994


NEWSLETTER OF THE EASTSIDE ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT PROJECT EVALUATING AND IMPLEMENTING ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE INTERIOR COLUMBIA RIVER BASIN


"Involving people in this project gives everyone the opportunity to better understand the environmental conditions and the communities in which we live and begin using ecosystem principles and practices."

Patty Burel,
Communications Team Leader,
Eastside Ecosystem Management Project


OPEN TEAM MEETINGS


Both the Science Integration Team and the Environmental Impact Statement Team will hold meetings open to the public, on May 17 and 18. The EIS team has two hours scheduled, on May 17th, with the public, and the SIT team will share their progress to date for 8 hours on May 18. A full agenda will be available on May 12. The meetings scheduled for public interaction are:

Science Integration Team Meeting

An update on the Eastside Project by science staff areas will be held on Wednesday, May 18, from 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM. Presentations will be made by the following staff area leaders: Aquatic and Riparian, Landscape Ecology, Social Sciences, Forest Policy and Economics, Terrestrial, and Spatial Analysis, and Research, Development and Application.

Opportunities for open dialogue with the science team will also be provided.

Environmental Impact Statement Meeting

The focus of the week's Environmental Impact Statement Team meeting week will be to prepare for the upcoming Public Scoping Workshops. An interactive session with the public and the EIS Team will be held on Tuesday, May 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. During this time, the EIS Team will share the Scoping Workshop Agenda and their initial thoughts on what will be presented. The EIS team is interested in hearing what major concerns and interests from specific areas east of the Cascades can be anticipated at the Public Scoping Workshops.


PROVINCE BOUNDARIES for the EIS


Early discussions about the organization of the EIS indicated that eastern Oregon and Washington would likely be subdivided into smaller land areas called "provinces". Originally the Eastside Team planned to have the province boundaries available for review by early May. It now seems however, that it may be too early in the project to identify provinces.

Identifying province boundaries at this stage may actually add confusion rather than clarification. For example, if we need to address anadromous fish, it makes sense to have boundaries that coincide with watersheds. But, if we want to look at rural economies, watershed boundaries probably would not work. Because of this, we are now looking at utilizing "province" boundaries as part of the implementation and administrative process rather than the analysis. For further information, refer to the Working Draft of the Framework for Ecosystem Management.


SUMMARY: FRAMEWORK FOR ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT


The first "working draft" of the Framework for Ecosystem Management for the Interior Columbia River Basin is completed. It outlines the principles and processes of a new way of thinking and planning for management activities. Inherent in the framework is the adaptive management process. Planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluating management activities form a loop rather than a linear process. For proper monitoring and learning, it is important that measures of success be defined at the outset of any planning cycle. Four main principles of ecosystem management are outlined.

ECOSYSTEMS ARE DYNAMIC AND EVOLUTIONARY

Ecosystems are products of their history, and they continue to change.

Attempts to maintain the status quo are futile.

ECOSYSTEMS MAY BE VIEWED AS ORGANIZED WITHIN A HIERARCHY OF SCALES OF TIME AND SPACE

Decisions at each scale must be considered in light of impacts in the next larger and the next smaller scale. Assessment of the present situation includes looking at the past and projecting to the future to the extent possible.

ECOSYSTEMS HAVE BIOPHYSICAL AND SOCIAL LIMITS

Assessments include social and economic context as well as the biophysical parameters. Conflicts over ecosystem conditions, products and services will inevitably occur in a pluralistic society with divergent communities of interest. A major challenge to managers and organizations is to develop the capability and skills to resolve conflict.

THERE ARE LIMITS TO THE PREDICTABILITY OF ECOSYSTEM PATTERNS AND PROCESSES

Systems modeling and scenario planning facilitate envisioning the possible future conditions resulting from potential management decisions. An important tool in organizing and displaying information is an information system integrated across ownership boundaries, agency processes, and political boundaries. Databases, software, and hardware for a geographical information system, are necessary to support the modeling and planning efforts.

Scientists, individuals, tribal nations, public groups, local, state governments are involved throughout the process in appropriate ways. Public involvement in determining desired future condition and in discussions of possible results of actions (or inaction) is necessary. Inclusion of people with a variety of viewpoints in discussions allows consideration of the widest possible array of choices and fosters cooperation by allowing ownership in the process.

Implementation of ecosystem management will likely be undertaken in newly delineated areas termed provinces. These areas could be based on conventional political boundaries such as states, on watersheds, on land forms, or on some combination of these.

Measures of success of the ecosystem management concept as a whole would be healthy, functioning forests and human communities now and for future generations; a flexible process that accounts for changing systems and social demands; and a spirit of cooperation and trust in the management of our natural resources.

The Framework document will be mailed to those on the project mailing list on May 6. Others may contact the project office in Walla Walla for a copy.


UPCOMING PUBLIC SCOPING WORKSHOPS


The Eastside Project Environmental Impact Statement Team will conduct Public Scoping Workshops for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). "Scoping" is the term used by federal agencies to identify important issues and determine what analysis is needed to make a decision on a proposed action.

The workshop locations, dates, and times are listed below. The purpose of the workshops is to begin a dialogue between the public and the EIS team, and, to collect and discuss issues for the Eastside EIS. Although issues will be accepted throughout the project, they should be given to the EIS Team by July 2 to help move the process forward.