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

Restoration Coffee House Session Two: Setting Priorities
Thursday, April 26, 4:00pm-5:30pm


This Restoration Coffee House (RCH) session will address the major challenges in setting priorities in the implementation of large-scale ecosystem restoration programs. Technical, financial, and political realities have lead leaders and managers of large-scale ecosystem restoration programs across the country to use a variety of priority setting methods. Each one when faced with the pressures of showing early and long term restoration successes have explored changing the methods or processes for setting priorities as the program proceeded the multi-year effort. A challenge faced by these large programs is agreement on a method that can adapt to the changing implementation environment and/or new science that emerges over time. Uncertainty of funding sources throughout the long term program also requires a robust priority setting process. This RCH session will discuss lessons learned and identify improved processes based on existing successes and failures of setting priorities of several large-scale ecosystem restoration programs around the country. The discussion by the panel and the audience will be initially guided by the following questions.

  1. How important and realistic was it to set large-scale ecosystem restoration priorities for your program given technical, financial, and political realities?

  2. What were the three or four most important factors you considered in your prioritization process, and how did you weight them? Did negotiation play a role?

  3. How did the restoration effort use adaptive management in setting priorities? What lessons have you learned to improve the process?

  4. Once your planning process was in place, what approach did you use to accommodate high priority emerging issues such as species declines, potential changes to the system (e.g., climate change), funding source priorities, and stakeholder pressure?

  5. Were impacts of land use (e.g., local jurisdictions) and societal economics considered as part of the prioritization process?

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