Science-based management of public lands in southern Nevada: Chapter 11 in The Southern Nevada Agency Partnership science and research synthesis: science to support land management in southern Nevada

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Abstract

Landmark legislation provides guiding principles for land management planning in southern Nevada and the rest of the United States. Such legislation includes, but is not limited to, the Forest Service Organic Administration Act of 1897 (16 U.S>C. 473-478, 479-482 and 551), National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 (U.S.C. Title 16, Secs. 1-4). Wilderness Act 1964 (P.L.88-577), National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190), Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L. 91-205), National Forest Management Act of of 1976 (P.L. 94-588), and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-579). The acts establishing congressionally designated areas within southern Nevada, such as Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Spring Mountains National Restoration Area, and Desert National Wildlife Refuge, also contain guidelines for the management of these lands. These documents variously require preservation of natural and cultural resource and wilderness character, protection of species, and prevention of undesirable environmental effects from land management actions. These requirements must be met while allowing for multiple "uses" of certain public lands (e.g. recreation, ranching, resources extraction, renewable energy development, etc.) to the degree that they do no threaten preservation, protection, and prevention goals,. many considerations some into play in the development and implementation for land management plans and actions. The planning process requires a balancing act that sometimes pit one need or priority against another. When priorities can trump other needs can prioritized and receive disproportionate consideration. Overall, the management of public lands is a very complicated and sometime contentious process.


Science provides an objective way to help weigh quantifiable information and draw conclusions about the effects of past and potential future land management policies, decisions, and actions. When effectively integrated into adaptive management, science-based information can reduce uncertainties, increase knowledge, and improve decision making. However, the specific science information needed for effective management is often lacking or difficult to access or interpret. Science is typically reported in scientific journals as discrete units describing individual studies with other scientists as the primary audience. Translations of these studies an synthesis or multiple studies into formats that can be readily used in land management planning efforts are often lacking. Identifying and articulating the highest priority science and research needs is one of the primary purposes of the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership (SNAP; http://www.SNAP.gov) Science and Research Team (chapter 1; Turner and others 2009). The SNAP Science and Research Strategy (Strategy) calls for a synthesis report to be written every 5 years summarizing the state of knowledge, information gaps and management implications of scientific information as it relates to the SNAP Strategy goals (Turner and others 2009). This General Technical Report serves as the first SNAP Science and Research Synthesis Report (Synthesis Report) commissioned by the Science and Research Team. The Synthesis Report is mostly based on information form the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and is itself peer reviewed and constitutes a new contribution to the scientific literature. This final chapter addresses Sub-goal 2.3, which is to manage current and future authorized southern Nevada land uses in a manner that balances public need and ecosystem sustainability, and Sub-goal 2.5, which is to promote an effective conservation education and interpretation program to improve the quality of resources and enhance public use and enjoyment of southern Nevada public lands. It summarizes information form the previous chapters on what scientific information is known currently and what remains largely unknown, and it discusses how science can be used to make future management decisions that balances public needs and ecosystem sustainability.

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Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Science-based management of public lands in southern Nevada: Chapter 11 in The Southern Nevada Agency Partnership science and research synthesis: science to support land management in southern Nevada
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher U.S. Forest Service
Publisher location Fort Collins, CO
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title The Southern Nevada Agency Partnership science and research synthesis: science to support land management in southern Nevada (General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-303)
First page 201
Last page 207
Country United States
State Nevada
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