April 23-27, 2007
Hyatt Regency
Crown Center
Kansas City, Missouri

Restoration Coffee House Session One: Defining Success
Tuesday, April 24, 4:00pm-5:30pm

This initial Restoration Coffee House (RCH) session deals with one of the most perplexing issues faced by the leaders and managers of ecosystem and basin restoration programs.  Because the large scales of these programs (spatially, temporally, politically and socially) substantially increases and broadens the number and range of expectations of interested stakeholders, reaching agreement on the desired outcomes can be challenging.  Yet many will argue that an up-front agreement on what constitutes success is an essential prerequisite to successful planning of project components and implementation strategies and for building public support for these programs.  This RCH session will illustrate and evaluate how this issue has been addressed by several large ecosystem-scaled programs around the country, and will explore how successful the various strategies for building agreement on definitions of restoration success have been in guiding planning and building support for these programs.  Focus of the discussion by the panel and audience initially will be guided by the following questions.         

  1. For purposes of this discussion, “restoration success” might be defined as having broad agreement during the early stages of the restoration planning process regarding the desired endpoints (i.e., what do we want the system to look like and/or be like following completion of the program?).  In your opinion, how important has it been to develop this broad agreement up front?

  2. How has your program achieved this broad agreement?  What have been the obstacles, and how successfully have you dealt with them?  What have been the consequences of not reaching agreement?

  3. Success endpoints can be characterized based on temporal, spatial, and/or values scales and criteria (e.g., pre-impact system vs. some more recent, healthier system; landscape vs. species goals, etc.).  What scales and criteria have your program used, and why?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches, in terms of building agreement (01 above) and planning and assessing the program?

  4. How (what process) has your program created quantitative measures of success, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of this approach?

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