Adaptive Management Process

Two Wildlife Workers discussing Eagles

Adaptive management is a process that implements specific management practices, asesses the outcomes of those practices and then makes adjustments to the practices to better meet management objectives. Through the use of adaptive management, long-term management outcomes become better and better, based on feedback from actual implementation.

Adaptive management to minimize risk to eagle populations is particularly appropriate for projects such as wind energy operations, where the impacts of the activity on eagles are uncertain and management practices designed to reduce potential take have not been well-tested.

Such uncertainties include:

The goals of adaptive management are to reduce uncertainty, improve the ability to predict outcomes over time, and to make future management actions more effective based on past learning.

Adaptive Management of Individual Projects

For proposed activities where measures to reduce impacts to eagles are uncertain, actions that have the potential to reduce impacts, based on the best available science, can be applied experimentally. Here is how the process might look:

One of the important advantages of adaptive management is that an individual project could be permitted that otherwise might produce too much risk to eagles.

Further, there is a collective benefit: after analyzing the results from a number of facilities where an experimental measure is being used, the Service will determine if that measure is effective in reducing eagle take. If so, it can be included as a best management practice, and be incorporated into future permits.

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