Research Task: RB00CMF.2.0
Task Manager: Lynne Koontz
Lands and resources managed by Federal, State, and local agencies provide many goods and services that contribute to the social and economic well-being of local communities and society as a whole. These include benefits such as recreational opportunities, commercial uses, environmental education, and subsistence. Social and economic analyses are an essential and required part of evaluating the effects of land-management actions; however, identifying and analyzing socioeconomic effects are not skills that many Federal land planners or managers possess. To provide a consistent framework for this process, FORT social scientists are collaborating with other Federal agencies to develop a Web-based decision tool, Assessing Socioeconomic Planning Needs (ASPN), that will allow Federal land planners and managers to identify the appropriate social and economic issues to address in their management process. ASPN will provide a socioeconomic analysis plan that is tailored to their individual land unit and planning issues. Information provided by ASPN will improve planning by structuring the process of
ASPN can be used throughout a planning process or be used as a tool to identify potential issues that may be applicable to future management actions. ASPN is useful during the pre-scoping phase as a tool to start thinking about potential social and economic issues as well as to identify potential stakeholders who may be affected. Thinking about this early in the planning process can help with outreach efforts and with understanding the cost and time needed to address the potential social and economic effects. One can use ASPN during the scoping and post-scoping phases as a way to obtain guidance on how to address issues that stakeholders identified. ASPN can also be used as a monitoring tool to identify whether new social and economic issues arise after a management action occurs.
ASPN is developed through a collaborative research effort between the USGS Fort Collins Science Centerís (FORT) Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch and the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.† ASPNís technical development is led by the USGS FORTís Information Science Branch. An updated release, which will extend ASPNís functionality and incorporate feature improvements identified in ongoing usability testing, is currently in the planning stages.
For more information contact Lynne Koontz