What we are doing
SNAP is collaborating with the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and BLM-Alaska to implement the science-based Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) approach in several regions throughout Alaska. REAs are intended to address ecosystem issues and conservation planning across administrative boundaries.
What’s in the assessment?
Conservation elements are the “what” that will be conserved and/or restored—the species, ecosystems, etc. that BLM will assess for status.
Change agents are key factors currently affecting or likely to affect (and potentially change) the status of conservation elements.
Conceptual ecological models will be developed to provide a science-based context as to how conservation elements interact with one another and how they may be driven to change. Models will capture the best available understanding about ecological functioning and essential ecological attributes for an ecoregion.
Goals of a rapid ecoregional assessment
REAs do not allocate resource uses or make management decisions. They provide science-based information and tools for land managers and stakeholders to consider in resource planning and decision-making processes by:
- identifying and answering management questions;
- documenting resource values, with a focus on regionally-significant terrestrial habitats, aquatic habitats, and species of concern;
- describing influences from climate change, wildfire, invasive species, and development;
- assessing the collective effects of projected trends;
- identifying and mapping opportunities for resource conservation, restoration, and development;
- identifying science gaps and data needs; and
- providing a baseline to evaluate and guide future management.