Ringold, Paul L., B. Mulder, J. Alegria, R.L. Czaplewski, T. Tolle and K. Burnett. 1999. Establishing a regional monitoring strategy: the Pacific Northwest Forest Plan. Environmental Management 23(2):179-192.
This paper identifies lessons learned and issues raised during the development of an ecosystem monitoring strategy intended to support the Northwest Forest Plan. Adaptive ecosystem management, which requires monitoring as essential feedback to management, recognizes that action is necessary or appropriate, although knowledge may be imperfect. We suggest that this principle be explicitly acknowledged in the design of monitoring programs, and we coin the term adaptive monitoring design. Adaptive monitoring design is an iterative process that refines the specifications for monitoring over time as a result of experience in implementing a monitoring program, assessing results, and interacting with users. An adaptive design therefor facilitates ecosystem management. We also discuss lessons of temporal and spatial scales raised by the consideration of a design for ecosystem management. Three additional issues--integration of information from different sources, institutional infrastructure, and the roles of individuals working in an interagency setting--are also identified, but not developed in detail.