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Jacob Sheppard, University of Washington, jshepp@uw.edu (Presenter)
Dale Blahna, USDA Forest Service, dblahna@fs.fed.us
Clare Ryan, University of Washington, cmryan@u.washington.edu

 

As government funding for ecosystem restoration projects declines, citizen environmental stewardship may provide a valuable supplementary tool to address restoration goals. However, there are no accepted methodologies for assessing the effects of citizen environmental stewardship on ecosystem function. We will investigate the relationship between citizen environmental stewardship actions and ecosystem-scale restoration goals in the Puget Sound region, using the Green-Duwamish watershed as a case study. Guided by existing data on stewardship activities in the watershed, and with input from experts in Puget Sound restoration and environmental stewardship, we will develop an analytical framework linking stewardship outputs with larger-scale ecosystem outcomes. We will develop methodologies for identifying and characterizing the framework’s inputs, including 1) the major ecosystem threats in the watershed; and 2) the spatial distribution and biophysical outputs of citizen environmental stewardship actions in the watershed. We will identify ecological indicators that quantify the effects of stewardship outputs on goals identified by regional ecosystem restoration plans such as the Puget Sound Action Agenda. Finally, we will identify the analytical tools necessary to conduct a gap analysis of actual stewardship activities compared to restoration needs that could be met through citizen environmental stewardship.