Decision Support Tool To Aid Wetland Conservation
In partnership with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture has been building a tool to aid with wetland conservation prioritization. This Decision Support Tool (DST) has been made to give a wide array of users a way to choose what factors (environmental, biological, and social) are important to them to better tailor their conservation efforts. This was done to align with the updated North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) objectives, being a focus on waterfowl populations, waterfowl supporters (hunters and bird watchers), and ecosystem services. To achieve this, the DST includes over 15 layers, such as waterfowl populations (eBird), water quality (NRD water quality phases), and land cost. This tool allows users to pick which layers they want to include, and how much weight should be assigned to each layer. By providing this level of customization, we aim to make this tool useful to a variety of land managers, regardless of their objectives. Below is an example of the tool being used to show weighting assigned to the abundance of dabbling ducks in the fall, dabbling ducks in spring, and diving ducks in spring. Based on these weighing assignments the Rainwater Basin is highlighted as an area of importance and could be used as justification to direct conservation spending to the region. We are currently seeking a partner organization to do a case study using the tool to show how this can have real world applications.
The tool is still in development, but will eventually by available via the RWBJV website