"Everybody lives downstream"
-Robin Wall Kimmerer
In May instead of my normal wilderness ranger duties I began work on a big project for my forest and two others in Washington in partnership with the non-profit Society for Wilderness Stewardship. This project will fulfill the 2-8 point requirements of the "wilderness character baseline" element of the Forest Service's "wilderness stewardship performance" (WSP) framework which I reviewed in a previous post. The end result will be a 100+ page report for each of the 10 wilderness areas in our project. These reports will establish measures to be used for monitoring wilderness character. The reports will describe the measures selected along with analysis of the data we will use for them. After the reports are done, every 5 years the forests will input the data we agree on to monitor and track change in wilderness character moving forward (this 5 year reporting cycle is the 10 point requirement of the WSP "wilderness character baseline" element). These measures and the data collection that supports them are collectively referred to as "wilderness character monitoring."
The storymap embedded below goes over what wilderness character is, what the measures we can select from are, and an idea of some of the needs the project has for the different departments. You can also view it by clicking here (the blog formats some of the photos a little oddly when embedding it).