Presentation Abstract

In Greek mythology, Zeus solves the paradox of the giant Teumessian fox, which had the power to never be caught, and Laelaps, the magical hound that always caught its prey, by changing them into constellations (Canis major and Canis minor) where their battle could play out for eternity. Zeus’s paradox also aptly describes the play of politics and science in prioritizing ecosystem recovery actions. Faced with the problem of prioritizing across hundreds of actions identified to recover terrestrial, freshwater, and nearshore domains of the Puget Sound, we structured an interactive process to capture both the key socio-political values of decision makers and expert knowledge about ecological effectiveness. Decision makers identified four important values for prioritization: ecological outcomes, strategic outcomes, protection of tribal treaty rights, and implementation issues. At their direction we decomposed the first two into 27 attributes. Technical experts nominated by decision makers evaluated 74 suites of recovery actions proposed for terrestrial, freshwater, and nearshore ecoystems by the attributes. We used a multi-attribute utility theory model with attribute weights developed with the decision makers to rank the 74 suites of recovery actions. Highest ranked were suites of actions focused on protecting ecosystem structure and functions and on balancing the need to accommodate population growth with ecosystem stressors imposed by development.

Session Title

Session S-02F: Presssure and Risk Assessment Tools

Conference Track

Planning Assessment & Communication

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

30-4-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 3:00 PM

Location

Room 602-603

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 1:30 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

The Fox and the Hound: Zeus’s Paradox and Prioritizing Ecosystem Recovery

Room 602-603

In Greek mythology, Zeus solves the paradox of the giant Teumessian fox, which had the power to never be caught, and Laelaps, the magical hound that always caught its prey, by changing them into constellations (Canis major and Canis minor) where their battle could play out for eternity. Zeus’s paradox also aptly describes the play of politics and science in prioritizing ecosystem recovery actions. Faced with the problem of prioritizing across hundreds of actions identified to recover terrestrial, freshwater, and nearshore domains of the Puget Sound, we structured an interactive process to capture both the key socio-political values of decision makers and expert knowledge about ecological effectiveness. Decision makers identified four important values for prioritization: ecological outcomes, strategic outcomes, protection of tribal treaty rights, and implementation issues. At their direction we decomposed the first two into 27 attributes. Technical experts nominated by decision makers evaluated 74 suites of recovery actions proposed for terrestrial, freshwater, and nearshore ecoystems by the attributes. We used a multi-attribute utility theory model with attribute weights developed with the decision makers to rank the 74 suites of recovery actions. Highest ranked were suites of actions focused on protecting ecosystem structure and functions and on balancing the need to accommodate population growth with ecosystem stressors imposed by development.