Mainstreaming ecosystem services in state-level conservation planning: Progress and future needs

Ryan R. Noe, Bonnie L Keeler, Mike Kilgore, Steven J. Taff, Stephen Polasky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ecosystem services (ES) have become an important focus of the conservation movement but have yet to be mainstreamed into environmental policy and management, especially at the state and federal levels. Adoption of an ES approach requires agency personnel to have knowledge or experience in implementing an ES approach and metrics that link potential actions to impacts on ES. We characterize the degree to which ES considerations are taken into account in setting priorities for conservation acquisitions in the U.S. state of Minnesota. We assess two core dimensions of an ES approach: (1) multiobjective targeting and (2) measuring program benefits in terms of increases in human well-being. We assess the degree to which these two dimensions occur in statute and in conservation program decision making. We find that state statute provides clear support for an ES approach in conservation funding mechanisms. However, we find that many of the programs funded through those mechanisms have more traditional habitat-centric approaches. In contrast to statutory emphasis, water quality related metrics were not prominent. We recommend expanding current prioritization systems to include a broader suite of metrics that are linked to human well-being to further mainstream ES in Minnesota. These metrics can be generated from existing data and would allow program managers to better communicate the public benefits of conservation spending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalEcology and Society
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by a grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR): M.L. 2015, Chp. 76, Sec. 2, Subd. 09k.

Funding Information:
Received Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund funding: Yes Received Outdoor Heritage Fund funding: Yes Received Clean Water Fund funding: No

Funding Information:
Received Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund funding: No Received Outdoor Heritage Fund funding: Yes Received Clean Water Fund funding: No

Funding Information:
114D.50 Subd. 4. (a) A project receiving funding from the clean water fund must meet or exceed

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the author(s).

Copyright:
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Easements
  • Habitat
  • Metrics
  • Policy
  • Water quality

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