Standards for Ecologically Successful River Restoration

Author(s): M. A. Palmer; E. S. Bernhardt; J. D. Allan; P. S. Lake; G. Alexander; S. Brooks; J. Carr; S. Clayton; C. N. Dahm; J. Follstad Shah; D. L. Galat; S. G. Loss; P. Goodwin; D. D. Hart; B. Hassett; R. Jenkinson; G. M. Kondolf; R. Lave; J. L. Meyer; T. K. O'Donnell; L. Pagano; E. Sudduth
Source: Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr., 2005), pp. 208-217
Publisher(s): British Ecological Society

This paper brings attention to the need for standards for evaluating ecological success in river restoration, and then suggests a methodology for doing so; the authors have proposed a set of assessment guidelines with five criteria that would guide the design and implementation of an evaluative process.

The evaluative criteria proposed are broad guidelines, and the actual work involved in building a specific model for any given project would be considerable. The power of these ideas, however, lies not only in designing the evaluation, but in making the evaluation part of a project's design from the initial conception to post-construction review and assessment. It would force teams to conceive and define ecological objectives more clearly within a given set of project constraints, and it would allow designers and managers to make strong ecological cases for the merits of their projects when seeking funding and approval.

This paper was written in 2004 and published in 2005. Because it is making a proposal to the scientific community for a new evaluative process in the unique framework of river restoration, I think it is an important paper to read. It would also be useful to find and read the critical responses to these authors' proposals.

Molly Mehaffy

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