10 Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge Guidebook i Welcome to your guidebook We hope this guidebook helps

Document Sample
10 Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge Guidebook i Welcome to your guidebook We hope this guidebook helps Powered By Docstoc
					                        10 -Year Wilderness
                       Stewardship Challenge

   i! Welcome to your guidebook. We hope this guidebook helps you understand the 10
Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge and provides you with some tools to help you
implement it. We have tried to answer many questions here; however, we recognize
individual wilderness managers have the best understanding of their unique situations and
are responsible for making their own judgment on how to report on the accomplishments.
Therefore this guide will not tell you what to report. Ultimately, this is up to you.

Executive Summary
The 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge (Challenge) was developed by the
Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group (WAG) as a quantifiable measurement of the Forest
Service’s success in Wilderness stewardship. The goal identified by the Wilderness
Advisory Group, and endorsed by the Chief, is to bring each and every wilderness under
Forest Service management to a minimum stewardship level by the 50 th Anniversary of
the Wilderness Act in 2014. The first year of the Challenge was Fiscal Year 2005.

Wilderness encompasses nearly 20% of the land area of the National Forest System. The
Wilderness Act of 1964 states that wilderness is to be managed for the “enjoyment of the
American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and
enjoyment as wilderness.” With improving technologies and ever increasing pressure
from a growing population, wilderness program responsibilities and complexities have
increased while available wilderness workforce has decreased. Conseque ntly, concerns
have risen at many levels of the agency regarding our ability, at the ground level, to
assure the protection and perpetuation of wilderness.

In 2002, an assessment of critical tasks of wilderness stewardship was applied nationally,
and wildernesses did not fare well. An earlier attempt to quantify wilderness
management tasks had identified over 200 individual tasks. The Wilderness Information
Management Steering Group, in an effort to simplify this measurement, distilled these
200 individual tasks down to 10 comprehensive elements. A “minimum stewardship
level” was defined as meeting 6 out of the 10 elements. The 2002 data indicated that

only 8% of the Forest Service Wildernesses were managed to this “minimum stewardship

Data from the 2005 reporting indicate only a slight improvement from the original
assessment, with approximately 12% of wildernesses meeting the minimum level of
stewardship. Since then, accomplishment has been in a positive direction, most recently
30.0% of wildernesses reported being managed to this standard as of the FY 2009
reporting cycle. Perhaps more encouragingly, the average score for all wildernesses has
risen steadily from 34.7 in FY 2005 to 50.7 in FY 2009.

To move forward with the 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge each Region has
identified specific strategies (these strategies are available on the 10-Year Wilderness
Stewardship Challenge Web Site on the Forest Service Intranet). It is clear that the
Challenge cannot be met by utilizing resources in wilderness and recreation alone. An
interdisciplinary approach is necessary. Support is needed from specialists in air quality,
aquatics, botany, fire, and wildlife. Leadership and field managers will need to work
closely with these programs to successfully meet the Challenge.

Feedback Requested
The Wilderness Advisory Group is interested in making this guidebook as helpful as
possible. If you’ve referred to this Guidebook with a question, and did not find an
answer, or if you are confused by what has been written, we want to hear from you. If
you have comments or suggestions, please send them to Steve Boutcher

    Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge?
   For the first time, critical parts of the job of wilderness management are defined.
      The 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge provides a yardstick against
      which we can evaluate how we are doing and what it will take to reach successful
      stewardship levels. It’s important to remember that the 10 elements identified in
      the Challenge are not to be regarded as a checklist or a card to be punched.
      Attainment of each element is a stepping-stone to ensure that each wilderness
      retains its untamed spirit into the future. The purpose of the 10-Year Wilderness
      Stewardship Challenge is to insure that wildernesses are managed as required by
      the Wilderness Act and passed to the next generation in better condition than
      when they were designated.

How does the 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge impact the way
wilde rness is managed within the Forest Service?
     The 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge will bring a multi-disciplinary
        focus to wilderness management. The Forest Service oversees 33% of the
        National Wilderness Preservation System; wilderness comprises 19% of the land

       base of the Forest Service. It is essential to have specialists from a variety of
       disciplines to help with this task. Specialists from air quality, hydrology, botany,
       fire, heritage, and fish and wildlife should continue or begin to address wilderness
       stewardship in their annual program of work.

What will happen if the 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge is not
imple mented?
    The Wilderness Act requires the Forest Service to preserve wilderness character
       and insures that the adverse effects of human activities do not impair natural
       conditions. The 10YWSC is a measure of how the agency is handling this
    Wilderness management may continue to take a backseat to the myriad of
       demands being made on the Forest Service. With achievable, measurable
       outcomes we can clearly articulate the job that is and is not being done to protect
       wilderness and its wilderness character.

What happens once the 10–Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge “minimum
stewardship level” is met?
    Bringing all wildernesses up to the level where they are considered “meeting the
      minimum stewardship level” will bring Forest Service wildernesses to a standard
      not achieved before. However, this is only a step towards “preserving wilderness
      as an enduring resource.” If we are to maintain a minimum level of stewardship,
      plans will need to be implemented and progress must be checked through
      monitoring. Elements may be modified through time, if necessary, to meet the
      intent of our mandate.

Some of the 10 elements are not NFRW funded - - why are we being held
responsible for achieving these elements?
    Some level of NFRW funding (dollars allocated to the recreation and wilderness
      programs) is needed in each element for project initiation and coordination.
      Wilderness managers, while not ultimately responsible for completion of fire
      plans, should still be closely involved with those specialists who will be doing the
    Wilderness does not operate in a vacuum and is not just about recreation. Instead,
      the wilderness resource is a collection of integrated components including air,
      water, fish, wildlife, plants, heritage resources, and fire. In the past, management
      of these resources has often stopped at the wilderness boundary. There is a need
      to integrate funds, resources, and cooperation among programs in order to
      effectively manage wilderness. Achievement of the 10-Year Wilderness
      Stewardship Challenge is the responsibility of all employees regardless of funding
      source and opportunities exist for discussion with and education of other
      specialists who may not typically work in wilderness.

If successful accomplishment is scoring 60 points, then what is the incent ive to do
more and better stewards hip for the resource? I envision people developing plans to

check off as many elements as possible but it won’t improve things in wilderness.
Isn’t this just a paper exercise?
     In reality, only a small percentage of wildernesses are currently being managed to
        a minimum level of stewardship, so the bar is high for many even though it’s set
        at only 60 out of a possible 100 points. Some of the value of the Challenge will
        depend on viewing it as part of an overall wilderness stewardship program. Many
        wilderness managers will not be content with a “D” grade.
     While it may be tempting to view this as a checklist, each element has a desired
        outcome that will actually make a difference on the ground. Planning plays a
        large role in management of the national forests; but without actual
        implementation, efforts will fail. A plan on the shelf may get you some points in
        certain elements; but to progress farther, field work must take place.
     What quality of wilderness do you want in fifty years? The purpose of planning is
        to take a hard look at a resource, develop strategies for improvement and to take a
        proactive role in preserving its desired conditions. Minimally, this effort will
        serve as a mechanism to determine what is there, what threats may appear, and
        how to deal with those threats.

Once my wilderness scores 60 or more points, will I get less funding?
    Achieving a score of 60 points is not a one-time accomplishment. It is recognized
      that maintaining or exceeding that level is equally important. Each region is
      developing a strategy (make sure you have seen yours) and should concentrate on
      maintaining good stewardship as well as initially meeting a score of 60 points.
      Without continued attention, it’s possible that a wilderness could score 60 points
      one year and fewer points in the following year.

Why is there an inconsistency in the points available for the diffe rent levels of
    Some elements have a different point system that acknowledges different levels of
       accomplishment within that element. What is consistent from element to element
       is the 6-point level which defines fully meeting that element. Below that level are
       the incremental steps that must be accomplished to meet that element and scoring
       above 6-points rewards accomplishment beyond simply meeting the element.
       Some levels are relatively easy to meet with only a few resources; others will
       depend on an interdisciplinary process and a longer time frame.

The wilderness I manage is small with fe w issues and I believe it is managed to the
minimum standard even though the planning required in the 10-Year Wilde rness
Stewardship Challenge has not been done. How do I report that the area is
managed to the minimum standard?
    The reporting system does not allow for documentation of wilderness managed to
      minimum standard except through the Challenge. The requirement for planning is
      included in most of the elements because it is important, even for a small
      wilderness, to establish a desired condition and set standards or guidelines to
      insure that wilderness character is preserved over the long run.

       The planning and monitoring requirements for a small wilderness with few issues
        can be accomplished by using established processes effectively and efficiently to
        fit the situation. For example, a Wilderness Education Plan does not have to be
        long and complex to be meaningful and it could be combined with an Education
        Plan for an adjacent or nearby larger area.

Will the definitions or scoring ever change?
    Some changes have been and may continue to be necessary because other
       resource areas changed their processes or terminology or agency guidance has
       been revised (e.g., fire management plans, forest plan revision rule).
    Additional changes may be necessary to clarify termino logy or to better reflect
       agency capabilities but these changes are not arbitrary and are carefully
       considered by the Wilderness Advisory Group and the Regional Wilderness
       Program Managers to avoid “raising the bar” and minimize inconsistency in
       annual reporting.

How do changes in the scoring affect accomplishme nt of the 10YWSC?
   The 10YWSC uses an annual reporting system to monitor progress towards
      achieving the goal of all wildernesses managed to the minimum stewardship level
      by 2014. Changes in scoring may cause fluctuations in annual reporting but there
      will likely be other differences between reporting years due to factors such as
      budget, staffing, other agency priorities, fire or weather events, etc. Annual
      fluctuations are not as important as the overall trend and achievement of the goal
      of the 10YWSC.

Who does the upward reporting and how is it done?
   Every wilderness has an assigned data steward. Data stewards come from
     different levels of the organization and may or may not be the person that directly
     manages the wilderness. The data steward won’t necessarily be the one who
     enters the data; they are merely the person responsible for ensuring the data is
     entered accurately and on schedule. Wilderness managers should know who their
     data steward is and work with them to report the most accurate information
     possible. The reporting is done through Infra-WILD immediately after the fiscal
     year ends.

How do I report scores that differ between forests for the same wilde rness?
   The goal is to manage each wilderness as a single unit and to coordinate
      management when the wilderness is within two or more national forests (FSM
      2320.3 #6). Often this is accomplished through unified management or shared
      services so that the differences in management and acco mplishment are
      minimized. If annual scoring for the 10YWSC is widely different between forests
      it is an indicator of a need for increased coordination to insure common
      interpretation of the elements and agreement on priorities.
   If differences in scores between forests cannot be resolved or leveled they should
      not be averaged for annual reporting. In order to honestly reflect achievement of
      the 10YWSC for the entire wilderness the lowest score should be reported.

Who do I call whe n I have questions about reporting?
   Reporting instructions are sent out each year prior to the due date. Coordinate
     with the person on your Forest who is responsible for reporting the data prior to
     approval. It is recommended that individual wilderness managers consult among
     themselves in their regions in order to ensure accurate interpretation of what is


WAG home page
Lead Wilde rness Data Steward home page

 The 10 Elements
 Element # 1
 Fire Management direction exists in the Forest Land Management Plan (LMP), or an
 amendment to the LMP, and information is contained in the Fire Management Plan
 (FMP) or the Fire Management References System (FMRS) which address the natural
 role of fire in wilderness and informs the full range of management responses to wildland

 Wilderness considerations are incorporated into the Forest Plan and Fire Management
 Plan Fire in wilderness is managed to preserve natural conditions. Wilderness character is
 maintained regardless of the management response.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the primary consideration necessary for achieving both fire and wilderness
 manage ment objectives for Ele ment 1?
    Each accomplishment level of this element requires close cooperation and
       coordination by wilderness managers, fire managers, and other resource

 Do I need a standalone wildland fire management plan for wilde rness?
 Generally the answer is no. What you need is adequate language in your Forest Land
 Management Plan (LMP) which addresses the natural role of fire and a forest Fire
 Management Plan that guides planning for planned ignitions and response to an
 unplanned ignition in wilderness.
     The 1995 Federal Fire Policy requires Fire Management Plans for all areas with
        burnable vegetation.
     Wilderness specific FMPs may be created by Forests to implement forest plan
        direction for management of fire in wilderness, if necessary, in areas where the
        response to an unplanned ignition is different inside vs. outside wilderness.

 How often do Fire Management Plans need to be updated?
    The Fire Management Plan is typically updated each year or on a schedule that is
       consistent with fire management policy. Check with your unit Fire Management
       Officer (FMO) for the revision schedule.
    The fire management plan may be counted as adequate if it is current for the fire
       season included in the annual reporting period. .

 Who is responsible for developing a Fire Management Plan and how is it

       Fire managers have the lead and responsibility for preparing the Fire Management
       FMPs are developed using an interdisciplinary approach and it is critical that fire
        and wilderness managers work together to identify and accomplish both fire and
        wilderness management objectives.
       Preparation work for the FMP is typically funded using the Primary Purpose
        budget advice.

What are the essential elements of a Fire Management Plan?
   The essential elements of the FMP are described in the National Fire Policy.
      Current guidance for development of FMPS and for including supplemental
      information in the Fire Management References System files is found at: http:/.
       See your Fire Chief or Fire Manager.
       The Wilderness Fire Checklist (see below) may also be useful.

What is the “Wilderness Checklist for Fire Management Plans”? Do I need to
comply with all items in the checklist to claim cre dit for this element?
    The Wilderness Checklist (see link below) was developed to ensure wilderness
      resource concerns are adequately incorporated into the development of fire
      management plans. This document is meant to be used as a tickler list. Local
      staff can determine which specific items are appropriate for inclusion in their fire
      management plans.

How is the FMP implemented and who pays for it?
   The FMP is implemented, after approval, by Fire Managers in coordination with
       wilderness managers and other resource specialists.
   Implementation of the FMP is typically funded using the Primary Purpose budget
       advice for the Fire program. The NFRW BLI is not primarily responsible for
       implementation of the FMP in wilderness. .

How do I evaluate the effectiveness of our FMP?
   Begin by evaluating the Wilderness Checklist items you have incorporated into
      the FMP annually. Perhaps you will find that you need to add additional items
      specific to your wilderness such as:
          o Is FMP information adequate in guiding the appropriate management
          o Is FMP information adequate in protecting the wilderness resource?

Can I claim credit for implementation if conditions on my forest (i.e. air quality
restrictions) didn’t allow for wildland fire use?
     Implementation, as defined in the counting instructions, means that you have
        wilderness fire management direction in the LMP and information in the FMP for
        managing unplanned ignitions occurring in wilderness, you evaluate the option of
        managing the fire to accomplish wilderness management objectives. It is not

        necessary to manage every fire for this purpose. If your plan is in place and
        evaluated for effectiveness, with modifications made as needed, count 10.
       The same situation would not occur if there are no fire starts within your
        wilderness during the annual reporting period. Without fire starts the
        implementation of the fire plan cannot be tested for effectiveness and
        modifications made as needed. Count 8 in this situation if all other requirements
        for this element have been met (LMP direction and FMP information).

Fire does not play a natural role in my wilderness. How do I report this?
     If fire is not a natural change agent in your wilderness, because of the ecotype, the
       LMP and FMP should adequately state the situation. Scoring is dependent on
       addressing the natural role of fire, evaluation of appropriate responses, and use of
       the Wilderness Checklist for Fire Management Plans. The proper score and
       accomplishment level can be achieved in areas that do not have a fire-dependent

I am uns ure about how to include fire management direction in the forest plan
under the current and revised Planning Rule. Where can I find guidance for this?
       A guide has been prepared to describe suggested elements for inclusion in the
       forest plan and where that guidance should be placed. See Technical Guide TG-
       09, Integrating Fire Management into Land Management Plans, on the TIPS page
       at: The Technical Guide (TG-09):
       Subsequent guides to match upcoming changes in the Planning Rule will be found
       at this website when they are developed.

There seems to be overlap between Element 1 and Element 8 (adequate direction to
prevent degradation of the wilderness resource). If I’ve done Ele ment 1 have I done
Ele ment 8?
     Element 8 involves development of adequate direction to prevent degradation of
       all important aspects of wilderness character. This will require attention to aspects
       of wilderness character in addition to fire. Development of adequate direction
       related to fire is usually necessary but not sufficient to pro vide the direction
       needed for Element 8. To meet Element 8, other aspects of wilderness character
       need to be considered and addressed in direction.

Fire Management Toolbox
Fire Toolbox
Wilderness Fire Management Checklist

Element # 2
This wilderness was successfully treated for non- native plants.

Identification and treatment of non-native invasive plants threatening the natural
conditions and biological processes of each Wilderness will allow native species to
thrive, restore the natural landscape, and help protect wilderness from the adverse effects
of human influence.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have non-native species that are not invasive per se?
   Non-native invasive plants, as defined by Executive Order 13112 (Feb. 3, 1999),
      are any plant species considered non- native to the ecosystem under consideration
      and where its’ introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental
      harm or harm to human health. This element only focuses on those species which
      have been determined to be invasive.

What type of analysis or plan do I need to have?
   You need an interdisciplinary plan at a level or scope that fits your wilderness
      needs. The level of analysis will vary for each forest or wilderness. Either a
      forest level EIS or a wilderness level analysis such as a CE, EA or EIS could be

My inventory, manage ment plan, and treatment monitoring data are a fe w years
old. Are they still considered adequate?
     Typically an integrated non- native species management plan is written for a
       multiple year period but amendments could be needed if conditions change or
       prescribed treatments prove ineffective.
     Whether the inventory, plan, or monitoring data is current and adequate is
       dependent on the species and location and should be determined in consultation
       with the units weed management staff. For an aggressive species in ideal
       growing conditions annual re- inventory to locate new infestations and monitoring
       to determine the effectiveness of the treatment may be necessary while in other
       situations a less vigorous effort may be adequate.

What is successful treatment?
   Successful treatment of a non- native, invasive species is defined as
      implementation of activities identified in an integrated plan developed to address
      the eradication or control on a national forest or other land unit.

How do you establish your monitoring cycle?
   The monitoring cycle should be outlined in your plan and is dependent on the
      threat posed by your particular species. A highly invasive species may need to be
      monitored more often than a less invasive species.

I don’t have a management plan for treatment of non-native invasive plants for my
small wilderness but periodic surveys by trained Wilderness Rangers indicate that
no non-native invasive plant species are present How do I score this?
     Count 10 points if the survey is current and it has been conducted by personnel
       trained to recognize and document the presence of non- native invasive plant
     It may still be useful to prepare an integrated non-native, invasive plant
       management plan to help identify and implement preventative measures. An
       effective management plan for a small wilderness with no known non- native
       invasive species can be prepared by matching the need and complexity to the
       planning product. The plan does not have to be long and it could be prepared in
       combination with planning efforts for other, adjacent, or similar wilderness areas.

There is no management plan for treatment of non-native invasive plants for my
wilde rness but they are present. Can I count 5, 6, or 10 points if I take actions
without a plan?
     No. The scoring at the 5, 6, and 10 point level for this element is cumulative. The
        highest score possible without a management plan or adequate forest plan
        direction is 2 points.

I don’t have expertise in treatment of non-native invasive species. How do I go
about this?
     It is important that an interdisciplinary approach be taken in management of non-
       native invasive species and that includes you as the wilderness manager. Contact
       the person on your unit responsible for management of vegetation. This is
       typically the botanist, ecologist, range conservationist or other resource
       management specialist. There may be an existing integrated non- native, invasive
       species management plan or similar document that addresses non-native invasive
       species outside wilderness that could be modified to include wilderness.
     Be sure to check out the existing resources posted on the Non-Native Plants
       Toolbox on Wilderness.net (using the link provided below).
I have a non-native wildlife species which is of greater concern in my wilderness
than non-native, invasive plant species. Can I report on this species instead?
     This element is focused on non-native, invasive plants. You may only substitute
       reporting for a non-plant species (wildlife, insects, disease, etc.) if non-native,
       invasive plants are not an issue in your wilderness.

Do I need to conduct a s urvey of the entire wilderness to claim 2 points?
    In order to do a sufficient survey, it is important that you conduct an inventory in
       all locations that are likely to contain non- native, invasive species of concern in
       your wilderness. This survey will take into account conditions adjacent to the
       wilderness as well as common vectors, such as trails, for the particular species of
       concern. The important point is to know the occurrences and distributio n of
       species of concern in the wilderness you manage.

There seems to be overlap between element 2 and element 8 (adequate direction to
prevent degradation of the wilderness resource). If I’ve done element 2 have I done
element 8?
    No. Element 8 involves development of adequate direction to prevent degradation
       of all important aspects of wilderness character. This is likely to require attention
       to aspects of wilderness character in addition to invasive species. Development of
       adequate direction related to invasive species is usually necessary but not
       sufficient to provide the direction needed for Element 8. To meet Element 8, other
       aspects of wilderness character need to be considered and addressed in direction.

Non-Native Invasive Plants Toolbox

 Element # 3
 Monitoring of wilderness air quality values is conducted and a baseline is established for
 this wilderness.

 We will have determined baseline condition of at least one sensitive receptor in each
 wilderness which can then be used to evaluate air pollution-caused changes over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

 I am overwhelmed with the amount of technical expertise required to even ask the
 right questions. How do I approach this task?
      Air quality monitoring should be an interdisciplinary process. Identify the
        specialist on your forest and in your region responsible for monitoring air quality
        values (which may have been established through your Forest Plan). Establish a
        dialogue and work with them to learn the terminology and what is required to
        determine the air resource monitoring program for your wilderness area.
      Network with other wilderness managers to identify useful resources and learn
        from their experiences on how to make progress.

 What am I supposed to be doing?
    You may not be expected to actually do the monitoring, but it is important to
       understand the process and the impact that air quality has on wilderness values
       and insure that a program is in place that conducts an inventory, establishes a
       baseline and monitors trends.
    You may also have a role in development of a wilderness air quality monitoring
       plan that may identify specific threats and the most sensitive receptors within a
       wilderness area, regardless of whether your wilderness is a Class I or a Class II

 What is IMPROVE? Why don’t I get to claim it?
    IMPROVE is a nationwide cooperative visibility monitoring effort that is being
       accomplished through the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual
       Environments (IMPROVE) program. The IMPROVE Program is a cooperative
       measurement effort governed by a steering committee composed of
       representatives from federal and regional or state organizations. The IMPROVE
       monitoring program was established in 1985 to aid the creation of federal and
       state implementation plans for the protection of visibility in Class I areas (156
       national parks and wilderness areas) as stipulated by the 1977 amendments to the
       Clean Air Act. The results from IMPROVE are currently available for
       characterizing visibility for each wilderness we manage. The intent of this
       element is to encourage forests to identify, inventory and monitor for sensitive
       receptors in addition to visibility.

What is the difference between Class I and Class II areas, and what features or
properties do we monitor for Class II areas?
    All wilderness areas in existence in 1977 (when the Clean Air Act amendment
      was passed) are considered Class I areas. All areas designated after 1977 are
      Class II areas. The difference between the two is that Class I areas are protected
      through the Clean Air Act and Air Quality Related Values (AQRVs) have been
      established for each region. Our responsibility to protect air quality values in
      wilderness is the same regardless of whether they are Class I or Class II areas; it is
      our ability to affect change, and the process that is used in Class I areas that is
    For both Class I and II areas we report the results of air quality monitoring and the
      effects from sources outside wilderness to the state regulatory agency. For Class I
      areas we can also model the potential effects of new pollution sources to Cla ss I
      areas and provide comment to the planning and permitting processes.

Why do we include air quality monitoring as part of the 10YWSC? Why do we
report on air quality proble ms when the pollution originates outside the wilderness?
    Air pollution can have a significant effect on the Natural Quality of the wilderness
       character of the areas we manage, particularly healthy aquatic systems. Even
       though wilderness managers often play a minor role within the air resource
       management program, the protection of air quality values in wilderness is an
       important part of our statutory responsibility to “preserve wilderness character”,
       and as such, is included in the 10YWSC.
    The Clean Air Act gave the Forest the “affirmative responsibility” to protect its
       resources from air pollution effects. By monitoring air quality we can identify
       those airsheds that are impacting the wilderness resource and report the effects to
       the state regulatory agency and/or EPA. Subsequent regulatory procedures taken
       by those agencies can address the pollution at its source and mitigate the effects to

Can I use data collected outside of the wilderness to determine my baseline?
    Yes, if two conditions exist: (1) the specific sensitive receptor of interest is the
       same as a wilderness air quality value identified in your wilderness air quality
       plan; and (2) an air quality specialist can defensibly state that the condition of a
       sensitive receptor in one wilderness can be used to characterize the condition of
       the receptor in an adjoining wilderness. For example, if a baseline for water
       quality has been established for high-altitude lakes in one wilderness, it can also
       be used to character the conditions in a nearby wilderness with similar geology
       and pollution source flows.

Do I need to inventory and monitor all sensitive receptors identified in my
wilde rness air quality plan?
     No, you only need to select a single sensitive receptor to claim credit for this
        element. The intent is to focus on the receptor which is of highest priority for this

What elements can be monitored to determine a baseline?
   Monitor for whatever element is most sensitive and critical for your wilderness
      area. Some examples include water quality in high altitude lakes, ozone effects to
      bioindicators and tissue analysis of lichens.

How long does it take to determine a baseline?
   It varies and it depends on the wilderness air quality value being monitored. For
      some wilderness air quality values a baseline can be established with one seasons’
      worth of data. Other air quality values may take longer. An air quality specialist
      can provide this information.

If my air quality value plan is 6 years old and monitoring is only done every 5 years
can I claim 10 points each year?
     A wilderness air quality value plan is typically prepared for a multi- year period
        and may remain valid if there are no significant changes in air quality values,
        sensitive receptors or indicators.
     The interval for periodic monitoring is dependent on the specific sensitive
        receptor and indicators identified in the plan. 10 points can be claimed as long as
        the frequency and intensity of your monitoring activities are consistent with the
        requirements specified in your plan.

There is no air quality value plan for my wilderness. Can I count 4, 6, or 10 points if
I conduct inventory, establish a baseline, and monitor sensitive receptors?
     No. The scoring at the 4, 6, and 10 point level for this element is cumulative and
       depends on development of an air quality value plan, including identification of
       wilderness air quality values, sensitive receptors, and indicators.

Air Quality Toolbox (http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=toolboxes&sec=air)
Natural Resource Information System (http://www.fs.fed.us/e mc/nris/)
National Forest Service Air Resource Management

Element # 4
Priority actions identified in a wilderness education plan are implemented.

Existing and potential wilderness visitors will understand the values of wilderness
beyond recreation and have a better appreciation for the importance of wilderness and
how to protect it. This will help reduce impacts from camping, day use, and stock use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be in an education plan?
   A wilderness education plan should identify issues, audiences, education, and
      monitoring needs in your wilderness and describe the education activities that you
      can accomplish. Your plan should take into consideration anticipated budget and
      personnel when you are proposing actions (don’t set yourself up to fail with
      things you can’t possibly do). See the toolboxes on wilderness.net for examples
      and a template.

What is the timeframe and scope of the education plan?
   A plan may be prepared for a multi- year period but it should be evaluated for
      effectiveness annually and updated as needed to reflect changes in threats,
      audiences, and opportunities.
   Some plans are forest-wide conservation education plans with a specific
      wilderness component; others are wilderness specific or may incorporate multiple
      wildernesses. It depends on the individual needs of the forest and wilderness.

How do I monitor imple mentation of my education plan?
   There are two types of education plan monitoring; implementation and
           Implementation monitoring is basically tracking the actual delivery of the
              tasks identified in the plan. It can include recording the number of
              education programs and people participating, visitor contacts, web site
              visits, or other measures.
           Effectiveness evaluation is measuring whether the education program is
              having the desired effect such as reducing impacts, including follow up
              surveys with program participants, to on the ground evaluation of impact
   The goal is to understand the effectiveness of your plan and make adjustments as
      necessary. See the toolboxes on Wilderness.net for examples.

Does a draft plan count as an education plan?
    A plan should be a signed document. It can be used as an opportunity to inform
       and involve your line officers of education needs at the wilderness and forest

I have a plan but fe w resources for imple mentation. How can I achieve the
minimum stewardship level?
     The scoring for this element requires that only the priorities identified in a
       wilderness education plan are implemented. There is no set number of priorities
       and this must be determined for each wilderness. Ideally the plan reflects a
       realistic approach that links threats and issues with the actions needed and the
       existing and potential resources for delivery.
     To identify annual priorities for implementation, first identify the most significant
       threats and the education program action items that will directly address those
       threats. Then select those actions that can feasibly be accomplished, given the
       resources available.
     To enhance program accomplishment identify what resources are available or
       could be obtained through integration with other resource education programs,
       use of partnerships and volunteers, etc. and then prepare an annual action plan or
       program of work to identify the reasonable and feasible priorities that can be
       accomplished each year.

I imple mented the priorities identified in the education plan last year but not this
year. Can I claim 6 points for this year?
     No. The minimum stewardship level requires implementation of the annual
        education program priorities.
     An annual review of the education and identification of priorities that are feasible
        given time, budget, and partnership constraints can help you select realistic and
        effective activities.

We have fully imple mented our education plan for the past several years , including
the curre nt reporting period, but we did not evaluate effectiveness this year due to
the results of the previous year’s evaluation which indicated positive results and no
need for change. Can we claim 10 points?
     Yes. 10 points may be claimed each year as long as the education program
       remains fully implemented and effective and no modifications to the plan are

I manage several small wildernesses on my forest. Do I need to do a separate education
plan for each wilderness?
     No, one consolidated wilderness education plan can be developed for all
        wildernesses on your forest, though it should address the specific public
        information needs and management issues associated with individual areas.

Wilderness Interpretation and Education toolbox

Element # 5
This wilderness has adequate direction, monitoring, and management actions to protect
opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation.

Places exist within each wilderness that allow visitors to experience different levels of
isolation, closeness to nature, tranquility and challenge in an environment that is in
distinct contrast to their normal lives. Wilderness visitors will be free to enjoy pursuits
like fishing, hiking and camping without feeling crowded.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Note – See additional information in the Element #8 section of this Guidebook.

How is adequate direction established?
   The goal is to make sure that adequate direction regarding opportunities for
       solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation in wilderness is included in the
       forest plan. Therefore, adequate direction must be included in one of the
            The text of the forest plan
            A wilderness plan in the form of a forest plan amendment or as integrated
               into a forest plan revision process.
            An amendment to the forest plan
            A forest plan revision process

       See element #8 for further information on current forest plan direction.

How do I know if the direction in my Forest Plan is adequate?
   Ultimately it is up to the wilderness manager and responsible line officer to
      determine if the direction is adequate in addressing opportunities for solitude or
      unconfined recreation for the individual wilderness, based on current resource
      (both physical and social) conditions and the desired future condition as identified
      in the forest plan.
   A technique that has proven successful for some is to network with other
      wilderness managers on adjacent forests or in your region to describe and assess
      what “adequate direction” means and determine if any “leveling” or clarification
      is needed between units to insure that the standard is effective for your area and
      that scoring is comparable.

What are some examples of forest plan standards for solitude or a primitive and
unconfine d recreation?
    The following items, as listed in the counting instructions, exemplify some of the
      direction commonly found in forest plans. These are just examples of indicators
      of social conditions; your individual wilderness may dictate the use of a selection

       of these examples or of different indicators entirely. Limits (standards) are often
       set for:
             Group size
             Encounters
             Carrying capacity (i.e. PAOTs or campsite density)
             Access management direction such as trail classes and management
             Wilderness recreation opportunity classes
             Presence of permanent improvements or evidence of modern human
             Length of stay limits
             Campsite location (i.e. distance from lakeshore, trail, etc.)
             Quotas/permit requirements

What methodologies are there to monitor and evaluate if opportunities for solitude
or primitive and unconfined recreation are being provided?
     If a desired condition, objectives, and guidelines or standards for solitude have
       been established in the forest or wilderness plan, it is possible to monitor use
       levels to determine if the desired condition is being met.
     The amount of use that is occurring in a wilderness can be monitored a variety of
       ways. Required permits or registration probably provide the most thorough and
       accurate ways to monitor how many people are using the wilderness by specific
       entry point. You can also estimate use by conducting entry and exit interviews at
       certain trailheads to determine amount and type of use. If this is the method that
       is being used it should be repeated every 5 to 10 years to show changes. Other
       methods include voluntary registration, electronic trail counters, or actually
       counting the number of encounters a wilderness ranger has in any given day on a
       specific trail.
     Research has shown that people’s tolerance for encountering other visitors
       decreases when they reach their overnight destination. Therefore, it is critically
       important that monitoring be conducted at overnight destinations (i.e. by counting
       the number of campsites occupied). This is completed by having a wilderness
       ranger visit a variety of destinations at night; don’t just focus on the most popular
       sites. It is just as important to monitor and assess changes to lower use sites. This
       should be repeated at each site at least every few years if not annually.

How often do I need to monitor for solitude and do I need to monitor the entire
wilde rness each time?
     You may want to consider designing a monitoring protocol that includes a variety
        of methods to be used at various places within your wilderness. For instance,
        your more heavily used lake basins should be visited several times a season to
        monitor number of occupied sites within sight and sound of each other. Changes
        in your more lightly used areas can be monitored through the use of registration
        cards and/or trail counters. It’s very important not to ignore the lightly used
        areas; even slight changes can have a great impact in these areas.

The forest plan direction for my wilderness is now 10 years old but whe n we last did
monitoring 5 years ago, conditions were stable and there was no need for further
actions. Can I score 6 points each year until s ubsequent monitoring indicates a need
for change in direction or management action?
     Yes, if in your best professional judgment, conditions really are stable or
       improving. The frequency of monitoring and need for change in management
       actions will vary depending on the use and locatio n of each wilderness.

We identified a need for change and developed specific direction to ame nd our
forest plan 4 years ago. Can I score 8 points for each annual reporting pe riod?
     Yes. As long as the specific direction is retained in the forest plan a nd remains
        adequate to protect opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined

What are the differences between the old (1984) and revised (2008) Planning Rules
related to adequate direction for wilderness?
     Under the old rule, specific goals, objectives, standards, guidelines, monitoring
       requirements, and possibly management actions, could be established as part of
       the forest plan revision process or through a separate wilderness planning process
       that amended the forest plan.
     Under the new rule, revised forest plans describe desired conditions and provide
       objectives and guidelines for meeting the desired condition. For less complex
       areas where current conditions and trends do not warrant a separate wilderness
       plan with indicators and standards, this degree of direction may be adequate.
     An existing wilderness plan or other decision document that contains adequate
       direction and was amended to the forest plan is considered wording in the existing
       plan and can be identified as “retained plan direction. If more specific direction is
       needed, it can be established through a separate wilderness planning process
       subsequent to forest plan revision that amends the forest plan.
        Additional information on evaluating existing direction or amending or
           revising the forest plan may be found in the answers to Element 8 or in
           Technical Guide 01 – Retaining Existing Forest Plan Direction under the 2008
           Planning Rule on the Technical Information for Planning (TIPS) page at:
           o Check with forest and regional planners for the latest guidance on forest
             planning under the revised planning rule.

To claim 8 points “more specific direction” needs to be establis hed. What does this
mean and whe n is it necessary?
    In some areas, use levels or resource impact concerns may dictate a more rigorous
       planning process to preserve the outstanding opportunities for solitude or a
       primitive and unconfined type of recreation quality of wilderness character.
       Typically this is needed when use levels create crowded conditions or there is an
       increasing trend in adverse impacts to biophysical resources and potentially
       significant management actions are needed or being considered. To address these

       conditions, specific indicators are identified and adequate standards or guidelines
       are established.

The difference between the score of 6, 8, and 10 is unclear. How do I know which
one to claim?
    Claim 6 points if your wilderness has adequate direction, management actions
       have been implemented and monitored, and conditions are stable or improving.
    Claim 8 points if the desired conditions for outstanding opportunities for solitude
       or primitive recreation in your wilderness are not being provided and you have
       established more specific direction that includes indicators and standards.
    Claim 10 points if you have established more specific direction at the 8 point
       level, management actions have been implemented, and monitoring is in place to
       identify conditions and trends that may require changes in management actions.

The bulk of the effort seems to be in getting to the 6 point level for many areas. Is
this true?
     Maybe. For many areas, where conditions and trends are at or near desired
        conditions, establishing adequate direction, implementing management actions,
        and monitoring for effectiveness will constitute an increase in the level of
        wilderness planning and management.
     For other areas, where conditions and trends are declining and not within desired
        conditions, considerably more work will be required to establish more specific
        direction, implement management actions, monitor the results, and claim either 8
        or 10 points..

Why is the level of accomplishment to meet the 6 point level higher for this element
than it is for some of the other elements?
    The wilderness managers responsible for originally developing the element
        descriptions believed this to be one area of stewardship that could be “outcome”
        based; that is, not only that we had done the necessary planning and had
        implemented appropriate management actions, but that the planning and
        implementation had the desired effects. Since that time, the regional wilderness
        program managers have affirmed that the bar is admittedly set higher for this
        element, in part because of the explicit requirement from the Wilderness Act that
        these areas be managed to have “outstanding opportunities for solitude or a
        primitive and unconfined type of recreation.”

This element seems to have a lot in common with Ele ment 8. What’s the difference?
    This element specifically focuses on various aspects of providing opportunities
       for solitude or a primitive and unconfined recreation, including the development
       of protocols, inventory and monitoring, development of plan direction and taking
       management actions to address unacceptable conditions. Element #8, on the other
       hand, is broader in scope and requires providing adequate direction to prevent
       degradation of both the biophysical and social components of the wilderness

       resource as a whole. The scoring for Element 8 reflects the overall direction
       provided by your forest plan for managing the wilderness.

Why is there this redundancy?
   The reason for this redundancy traces back to the origins for how the original ten
      elements were initially defined, using Wilderness Meaningful Measures as its
      original foundation, which also had a somewhat redundant structure. Further
      explanation of this historical artifact is not particularly helpful, nor does anyone
      want to significantly change the elements the make them more discrete at this
      point of the Challenge. Suffice it to say that the overlap between Elements 5 and
      8 is acknowledged and that forest staff should attempt to report accomplishment
      to the best of their ability.

Visitor Use Management Toolbox

Element # 6
This wilderness has completed a recreation site inventory.

We will know where and how people use each wilderness and the effects of this use. We
can use this information to make decisions to protect wilderness character (for example,
limits on use, revegetation of over-used areas, or education strategies). This information
is not static; some percent of site inventories are re-evaluated each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a recreation site inventory plan look like and what are the components?
   There is no right way to do an inventory plan. Yours must be valid for your area
      and take into consideration levels of use, issues with this use and frequency of
      monitoring needed. See the link to toolboxes below.

What is the “minimum site monitoring protocol”? Why would I do anything
    The “minimum site monitoring protocol” is a protocol which defines the
       minimally acceptable level of monitoring which must be accomplished to claim
       credit for this element. Forests are encouraged to go beyond this protocol, but a t
       minimum this protocol must be applied. Individual protocols are typically
       adapted to local issues of concern or to meet forest plan direction and may involve
       more specific site measurements. If a forest uses a protocol other than the
       national minimum protocol, there is no requirement that a crosswalk be

The “minimum site monitoring protocol” was added to the Challenge in FY 2006.
Wasn’t this conside red raising the bar?
    No, this wasn’t considered raising the bar. Since this element was first described
      in FY 2001, it has always defined a recreation site inventory as “a listing of all
      known recreation sites within the wilderness of interest, including the geo-spatial
      location of the site along with an assessment of its condition.” The nationa l
      protocol merely provides more detail to improve the consistency for reporting
      accomplishment, in response to requests from the field.

My protocol is more detailed than the national protocol but I’ve only inventoried
sites in my high use areas. Can I claim credit for this element?
     The protocol requires that all likely sites be censused. Your wilderness will fully
        meet this element when all of these sites have been visited. However, you can
        claim 4 points if you’ve only inventoried a portion of your wilderness as long as it
        meets the minimum requirements of the protocol.
     An inventory of low use sites is valuable for the information that enables us to
        protect outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type
        of recreation. Monitoring allows us to detect any changes that may compromise

       these opportunities. An example is the effect of displacement of use and impacts
       from high use areas due to implementation of management actions. For low use
       areas where changes in numbers of sites or conditions are not likely the interval
       for re- inventory can be lengthened.

My inventory is over ten years old. Can I claim credit for this data?
   Although data over ten years old is extremely valuable for detecting trends over
      time, it is not recent enough to be counted for meeting this element. In fact, it is
      recommended that recreation sites be re-inventoried every 5 years.

What do I do about campsites mapped on an old inventory that I can’t re -locate?
   A major purpose of campsite monitoring is to locate all campsites within a
      wilderness area. By mapping and then searching all areas where campsites are
      likely to be found the previously inventoried sites will either be found or removed
      from the inventory.

What are some examples of “local decision making process” that the data can be
used for? Does it always have to be about closing sites or restoration?
    Recreation site monitoring data can be used as the basis for taking various
       management actions. In addition to closing or rehabilitating sites, the data can be
       used to implement new regulations such as party size, mandatory setbacks or
       stock restrictions. Persistent site impacts can be used as a basis for requiring
       designated sites or implementing use limiting permit systems.

If I have not been able to put my data into Infra-WILD, what are some examples of
other acceptable databases?
      We strongly encourage the use of Infra-WILD because that is the most viable
        option we can recommend. Its use is institutionalized and, unlike most locally
        developed systems, its long-range existence is not dependent upon any one
        person. However, this element does not require use of Infra-WILD. Examples of
        other software which support analysis include other database management
        systems, such as MS-Access, as well as spreadsheets, such as MS-Excel.

A recreation site inventory which conforms to the national site inventory protocol
was completed 3 years ago, data was entered into a database and analysis is used to
support the local decision making process. A subsequent re-inventory is not due for
2 more years. Can I score 10 points for each reporting pe riod until the re -inventory
process begins?
    Yes. Unless conditions change enough that the previous inventory data and
       analysis is no longer useable.

There seems to be overlap between element 6 and element 8 (adequate direction to
prevent degradation of the wilderness resource). If I’ve done element 6 have I done
element 8?
    No. Element 8 involves development of adequate direction to prevent degradation
       of all important aspects of wilderness character. This is likely to require attention

      to aspects of wilderness character in addition to site impacts. Development of
      adequate direction related to site impacts is usually necessary but not sufficient to
      provide the direction needed for element 8. To meet element 8, other aspects of
      wilderness character need to be considered and addressed in direction.

Recreation Site Monitoring Toolbox

Element # 7
Existing outfitter and guide operating plans for this wilderness direct outfitters to model
appropriate wilderness practices and incorporate awareness for wilderness values in their
interaction with clients and others. Needs assessments are completed for new operations
or for major changes to existing outfitter programs.

Outfitters and guides will serve as ambassadors for wilderness. Their clients will leave
with appreciation and knowledge that they may use in future self- guided trips to
wilderness areas. Outfitters will provide a direct benefit to the wilderness they operate in
by providing needed opportunities for visitors and education about wilderness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get outfitte rs and guides to “model appropriate wilderness practices and
incorporate awareness for wilderness values”?
     One proven method is to suggest that outfitters develop specific techniques and
       practices that fit their unique operations and are feasible and practical to
     The needed actions can be identified during the annual meeting, or as operating
       plans are revised, and are jointly agreed to.
     The actions identified can be supported by providing the outfitter with access to
       Leave No Trace and other information and encouraging innovation of techniques
       and sharing of ideas with other outfitters and guides.

What is the language that is appropriate to incorporate in the operating plan?
      There is no standard language and therefore the specific language used may vary
      from wilderness to wilderness. Please see the 10YWSC Resource file and
      examples located in the Commercial Services (Outfitter and Guide) Toolbox.

How do I evaluate whether or not outfitters and guides are incorporating awareness
of wilderness values with their clients and others?
     Some possible methods of evaluation include incorporating compliance tactics in
       the operating plan, monitoring through the permit inspection process, evaluating
       brochures, web sites and other marketing tools, and direct observation of
       activities. See the Commercial Services (Outfitter and Guide) Toolbox for more

How do I determine “the extent necessary”?
    Section 4(d)(6) allows commercial services (outfitters and guides) to “the exte nt
      necessary” for certain wilderness purposes.
    The Forest Service does not require that a specific process be followed for either
      needs assessments or to determine the extent necessary. But, where capacity and
      impairment of wilderness character are concerns, a rigorous analysis, beyond the

         typical needs assessment, is needed prior to allocating a portion of visitor use
         capacity to commercial use (FSM 2323 and FSH 2709.11 Chapter 40).
        Guidelines, templates, and examples of needs assessments including
         determination of the extent necessary are found in the Commercial Services
         (Outfitter and Guide) Toolbox on Wilderness.net.

Do I have to prepare a needs assessment and allocate use for existing outfitte r and
guide operations to meet the minimum standard?
     No, for the 10YWSC, a needs assessment is only required for new proposals or
       major changes in existing operations. However, to claim 10 points a needs
       assessment with a capacity analysis and allocation of use is required for all
       outfitter and guide operations. Follow the guidance found in FSH 2709.11,
       Chapter 40, 41.53e.

How do I score this element if there are no pe rmitted outfitters or guides in my
wilde rness?
     Wildernesses without outfitter & guide permittees explicitly state this by clicking
        the button on Element 7 of the 10YWSC reporting form in Infra-WILD for “This
        Wilderness does not have any outfitter and guide permits.” These wildernesses
        are automatically awarded 6-points, which is considered “fully meeting” the

Commercial Se rvice (Outfitter/Guide) Toolbox

Element # 8
This wilderness has adequate direction in the forest plan to prevent degradation of the
wilderness resource.

The wilderness resource is the combination of biophysical, social, and managerial
qualities that make wilderness unique from any o ther place. With specific objectives
developed for social conditions (party size, encounter levels), biophysical conditions
(fire, air quality, invasive plants) and managerial conditions (signs, trails,
outfitter/guides), these aspects of wilderness character can be protected and/or restored.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Note – See additional information in the Element #5 section of this guidebook.

Why is it important to have adequate direction for wilderness in the forest plan?
   The forest plan is the plan that guides all activities on the national forest. All
      other “plans” (fire management plans, wilderness plans, non- native invasive weed
      management plans, etc.) tier to the guidance in the forest plan and may amend the
      forest plan if necessary using an interdisciplinary and NEP A compliant process.

How do the revised planning regulations affect this aspect of our forest plan as we
go into Forest Plan revision?
     Currently the forest planning rules is under revision. Check with forest and
        regional planners for the latest guidance.

       The following provides different options for you to consider depending upon the
       current direction for your wilderness.

       A) How do I proceed if adequate direction already exists in the curre nt forest
       plan (or wilderness plan amended to the forest plan):
        Insert desired condition, vision, strategy, and design criteria for each
          wilderness area in forest plan revision
        Include previous forest plan or wilderness plan standards and guidelines that
          amended the forest plan as retained forest plan direction for the revised forest
          plan and continue to use as direction.
        Review the Technical Guide 01 – Retaining Existing Decisions under the
          2008 Planning Rule on the TIPS page at: http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/em/

       B) I don’t have adequate direction in my forest plan. Under the revised
       planning rule, how do I get it into the forest plan?
        During the forest plan revision process describe and insert desired condition,
           vision, strategy, and design criteria for each wilderness area in forest plan
           revision. See the Technical Information for Planning website at:

          Develop direction for your wilderness and work with your forest planners and
           resource specialists to identify the desired condition (DC), vision, strategy and
           design criteria for each specific wilderness, instead of one DC for all of the
           wilderness areas on your forest. That way your DC can provide site specific
           information about the future of your wilderness. This will help set the
           direction for future management decisions.
          Prepare adequate direction outside of forest plan revision using a process that
           is interdisciplinary, includes public involvement, and complies with NEPA to
           establish indicators, standards, monitoring requirements, and specific
           management actions.

Who ultimately makes the decision if current direction is adequate?
       While it is the responsibility of the wilderness data steward to complete the
         yearly accomplishment reporting on the Challenge, the responses that are
         provided should have the buy-off of the key local staff as well as the line

Our monitoring revealed unacceptable levels of degradation 3 years ago and
appropriate manage ment actions we re taken then. According to the forest plan
monitoring schedule conditions will not be monitored again for another 2 years.
Can I score 10 points for each annual reporting period?
        Yes. Until subsequent monitoring indicates that additional management
          actions are needed to prevent degradation of the wilderness resource but not

This element seems to overlap with Elements 1 (fire), 3 (invasives), and 5 (solitude).
If I’ve done elements 1, 3, and 5, have I done element 8?
         Probably not. Element 8 involves development of adequate direction to
           prevent degradation of all important aspects of wilderness character. This is
           likely to require attention to aspects of wilderness character in addition to fire,
           invasives and solitude. For example, some wildernesses need direction
           regarding impacts on fish or archaeological resources; other wildernesses need
           direction for management of grazing or minerals. Development of adequate
           direction related to fire, invasives, and solitude is usually necessary but not
           sufficient to provide the direction needed for element 8. Other aspects of
           wilderness character need to be considered and, if appropriate, addressed in
           direction. You can think of elements 1, 3, and 5 as being subcomponents of
           element 8. But element 8 is more than the combination of these other

Resource Protection Toolbox

Element # 9
The priority information needs for this wilderness have been addressed through field data
collection, storage, and analysis.

We will be able to identify what information needs are the most important for long-term,
effective wilderness stewardship. This will focus the efforts of wilderness rangers and
other staff to not only collect data that will inform management about the most pressing
issues for a particular wilderness, but also to encourage staff to enter the data into a
database, analyze it to produce information, and use that information in the decision
making process.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of “priority information needs”?
   “Priority information needs” result from the local determination of the
      information needed to address key wilderness stewardship issues. Obviously,
      these needs will vary from wilderness to wilderness, as well as within the same
      wilderness over time. They can include basic information needs such as “What
      campsite impacts are occurring and should we implement a use restricting permit
      system?” or “Where are non- native, invasive plant populations and are our
      management actions having a positive effect?”

Who gets to make the determination of what priority needs are? It seems like
differing levels of the organization clearly want and nee d different kinds of
     For this exercise, the determination of “priority information needs” is entirely
        locally determined, meaning at the level of the wilderness. This typically is
        synonymous with the forest level, but can involve multiple fore sts for those
        wildernesses with shared administration, or it may be at the district level in other

If you collect data for a single priority manage ment issue do you get credit, or do
you have to collect data for all priority issues?
     The bar is set relatively low on this element. In order to claim credit you need to
        be able to cite a single instance where field data collection was conducted to meet
        a priority information need. However, this element implies a broad assessment of
        all information needs was conducted, and this specific need was identified as
        having a high enough priority to warrant the commitment of resources.

Several other elements also include monitoring and analysis, such as Ele ment 6
(Recreation Site Inventory). If I am collecting data and analyzing it and claiming
credit under another element, can I also claim it here?

        In a word: YES. To fulfill the intent of this element does not automatically mean
         you must go above-and-beyond the work you are accomplishing under other
         elements in the Challenge. For example, if you are currently collecting recreation
         site inventory data, storing the data in a database and using it in the decision
         making process (and thereby scoring 10-points under Element 6), you can then
         also claim 6-points under this element.

Isn’t this just “planning for planning’s sake”? How will my wilderness benefit?
     The element attempts to focus our limited time and energy on “getting the biggest
        bang for the buck” – that is, to identify the biggest information gaps on
        management challenges in a particular wilderness, collecting the appropriate data,
        and then using it, after analysis, to make informed stewardship decisions. It is the
        full life-cycle, from start to finish, that is so important. How often do we collect
        data but never enter it into a database, or produce information to answer a
        question but then discover it is not in the right format or of sufficient refinement?

In order to claim credit for completing the upward reporting in Infra-WILD by the
due date, is that for only the 10 Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge or for all
aspects of the reporting?
     In order to claim the 2-point credit, you must have completed all aspects of the
       upward reporting by the initial due date. At the present time, that includes:
       “Wildernesses Managed to a Minimum Stewardship Level” Accomplishment
       Reporting, Wilderness Regulations (both for Wilderness.net and Agency Use),
       Wilderness Management Record, Motorized Equipment/Mechanical Transport
       Use Authorizations, Wilderness.net and Wilderness Stewardship Groups.

What is an “information needs assessment”?
   As stated in the key definitions, an “information needs assessment” is “a
      structured approach for determining data collection, storage and analysis needs by
      first identifying and prioritizing local management requirements.” Put more
      simply, an information needs assessment is a process used to identify field data
      collection requirements by first answering the specific manage ment questions. It
      directly addresses the all too common situation where we collect field data which
      is never used to influence a management decision.

Is the information needs assessment a physical document I can download and use
for my wilderness?
     While it should be mentioned that there is no one way to conduct an information
        needs assessment, a recommended process, along with templates and examples
        are posted in a toolbox on Wilderness.net

Can I do a single wilderness information needs assessment for my whole forest or do
I need to do one for each wilde rness I manage?
     Typically, a wilderness information needs assessment is conducted for a single
       wilderness because the INA is focused on the specific issues and conditions
       within a particular wilderness. It is conceivable that an INA might apply to more

        than one wilderness but only in those cases where the issues and existing social
        and resource conditions are identical. At the least, there are “economies of scale”
        – that is, if a person needed to complete more than one INA, the second and
        subsequent iterations would not take as much effort as the first.

How often do I need to update the data collection protocol and monitor conditions?
   The data collection protocol remains valid until it is no longer adequate for
      meeting the specific information needs of the wilderness. Significant changes in
      use or other influences on wilderness conditions may prompt a revision.
   Conditions should be monitored to meet forest plan monitoring schedules or to
      meet more specific guidelines contained in an information needs assessme nt.

An inventory which conforms to methods docume nted in a data collection protocol
was completed last year, data was entered into a database and analysis is used to
support the local decision making process. Can I score 6 points for this annual
reporting period and each subsequent year?
    Yes. Unless conditions change enough that the previous inventory or monitoring
       data and analysis is no longer useable.


Information Management Toolbox

Element # 10
The wilderness has a baseline workforce in place.

Each wilderness has the staff necessary to support a viable wilderness program, and at a
minimum, to accomplish the 10 Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge.

Special Background Information for this Element
Baseline workforce numbers and wilderness complexity classes were developed by the
Wilderness Advisory Group based on twelve measures, including use levels, miles of
trail, permit systems, fire use, invasive plants, Class I or II airsheds, organizational
complexity (multiple units managing), size, education, non-conforming uses, additional
national designations, and inholdings. A random survey of wilderness ma nagers of each
complexity class was conducted to determine the baseline wilderness management
workforce needed to support a viable wilderness program. The baseline workforce
numbers were established based on the best information available at that time.

 Frequently Asked Questions

The counting instructions for Element 10 were updated in FY 2008. Why?
    The original instructions for determining accomplishment for each of the elements
      of “wildernesses managed to a minimum stewardship level” date back to the days
      of the Budget Formulation and Execution System (BFES). Under BFES, the
      elements could only consider the accomplishment under a single Budget Line
      Item, which is typically NFRW for wilderness. These edits were in direct
      response to the chorus of complaints that this dated counting restriction sent the
      wrong message and had become a barrier to integration.

Who do I count in this element? Is it anyone who spends time working in
wilde rness?
     Count those staff that are working on tasks related to wilderness stewardship, not
        just those who are working inside wilderness. This includes all paid Forest
        Service staff, regardless of fund code.
     This assessment is focused on those staff working on “traditional wilderness
        tasks.” This includes counting those staff that we typically think of as wilderness
        staff, as well as those from other resource areas that are working towards
        managing a wilderness to standard. To provide even more definition, count those
        staff that are helping to achieve progress on the 10 Year Wilderness Stewardship
        Challenge, such as staff monitoring wilderness air quality values or those
        conducting non-native, invasive plant surveys.
     This calculation excludes those staff working inside a wilderness on tasks not on
        the local program of work, such as fire overhead and suppression crews, or Forest
        Inventory Analysis (FIA) field crews. These staff are often from off- forest, and
        while potentially contributing to wilderness stewardship, they are not considered
        part of the baseline workforce.

Can I count volunteers?
    Yes (sort of). While volunteers can contribute significantly towards managing a
       wilderness to standard, they are not considered part of the baseline workforce, per
       se. The baseline workforce consists only of paid Forest Service staff. However,
       to acknowledge this workforce component, wildernesses which benefit from a
       “significant” contribution from volunteers in a given fiscal year can claim 2
       additional points under this element.
    The determination as to whether or not volunteers help accomplish “significa nt
       work” is a local one. While hoping to avoid splitting things too finely, we are
       simply trying to exclude those very limited contributions, in terms of manpower
       or duration, that do not substantially benefit wilderness stewardship.

I manage more than one wilderness and my staff is shared across wilderness
boundaries. How should I count my FTE’s?
    If your responsibilities include more than one wilderness, consider each
       wilderness separately. Do not aggregate your time on a unit basis. The intent
       behind these baseline workforce numbers is to give each wilderness equal
WAG home page
This seems like an impossible element to meet. Why include this element?
    The wilderness workforce baseline is an important element. Working toward this
       element will also help achieve the other elements. Remember, these workforce
       estimates were developed by your peers to approximate the staffing they felt was
       needed for a viable wilderness program. How well we meet the objectives of this
       element tells a powerful story.
    This element is important because it serves as a reminder to upper level
       management that a baseline level of staffing is needed for a minimum level of
       stewardship. Despite the breadth of the Challenge, the ten elements do not
       encompass all of the essential management activities required for successful
       wilderness stewardship. This element acknowledges that additional workload.

Some of the information used to calculate the complexity rating for my wilderness
has changed? Will these eventually be updated?
    Yes. While the formula used to calculate complexity scores will not change,
       plans are underway to update the ratings with more recent data before the FY
       2009 reporting process. This update is not anticipated to have a major impact on
       wilderness complexity scores.

10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge Web site:
http://fs web.wo.fs.fed.us/rhwr/wilde rness/10ywsc/index_10ywsc.html


Shared By:
Description: Stewardship Call Report Form Templates document sample