Multiattribute choice analysis in ecosystem restoration planning


Ecosystem restoration planning poses many challenges in deciding what the objectives of restoration will be and how to achieve them. Multiattribute utility choice analysis was used in this study to identify public preferences in Florida for restoration of the Everglades/South Florida ecosystem. The analysis utilized both structural (species populations) and functional (water levels and timing) attributes to represent states of the ecosystem in conjunction with other attributes to represent social tradeoffs in restoration planning. Statistical results on the relative weighting of different attributes indicated strong preferences for Everglades restoration were tempered by concern for the consequences of restoration decisions on municipal water users and agricultural landowners. Multiattribute choice approaches provide a framework to integrate the work of natural and social scientists in adaptive management of ecosystem restoration planning and to provide better information for resource managers about public preferences for different types and levels of restoration.

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Environmental Practice