Monitoring Groups

Reports and Plans

Monitoring vegetation along restored roads.

Monitoring vegetation along restored roads.

About the SWCC Monitoring Program

The SWCC identifies a strong monitoring program as a vital component to the success of the collaborative process and developed several goals for monitoring including:

  • Determining the effects of fuels and forest restoration efforts conducted under the CFLRP;

  • Validating or improving management approaches to achieve treatment objectives (i.e. through adaptive management);

  • Determining how the interaction of various forest treatments can generate landscape level effects that move the Southwestern Crown landscape toward a more resilient, high integrity ecosystem;

  • Using a multi-party approach to monitoring, including the use of citizen science and education efforts;

  • Setting a national example for monitoring the effects of forest management activities; and

  • Complying with FLRA.

The SWCC Monitoring Committee (Meeting Notes) was established by the SWCC Collaborative and is an open, voluntary group, comprised of experts in a range of subjects. Its members include agency personnel, university faculty, industry and NGO staff, and community members. The Monitoring Committee makes recommendations to the Collaborative on potential monitoring actions which may then be forwarded to the appropriate Forest Supervisor. The Monitoring Committee is subdivided into four working groups to better align their operations to the major goal areas within the CFLRP proposal and to allow more practical allocation of operational responsibilities for designing and conducting monitoring activities.

The Forest Landscape Restoration Act specifically requires a multi-party monitoring program for each CFLRP project. The benefits of a multi-party approach are: 

  1. Leveraging the expertise and capacity of resources outside the Forest Service

  2. Providing an unbiased evaluation of forest restoration treatments

  3. Providing educational experiences on forest restoration for local citizens

The SWCC proposal also recognizes the significance of public learning via involvement in monitoring activities, such that throughout the monitoring process efforts will be made to engage students and local residents in “citizen science” opportunities.

Adaptive Management
The results of the monitoring program will be used within an adaptive management framework to inform the planning and implementation of future management activities. However, monitoring results can also be used to revise goals and objectives, to adjust conceptual models and predictions about the systems in which management actions occur, or even to reassess the way in which a problem is framed. An annual two-day Adaptive Management Workshop is held at UM’s Lubrecht Experimental Forest to discuss monitoring results with land managers and resource specialists within the Forest Service. Summary reports and presentations from these workshops are available here: Adaptive Management Workshops.