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Service Teams with USGS at a Workshop on Structured Decision Making Edwards Aquifer Issues
Southwest Region, January 31, 2008
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 A team of biologists and hydrologists met at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to attend a workshop in Rapid Prototype Structured Decision Making (SDM).  The intent of the workshop was to guide four teams in addressing real world problems in a SDM framework. Our team addressed the complex question of determining jeopardy for three of the seven endangered species of the Edwards Aquifer and included staff from the Austin Texas Ecological Services Office, Steve Cullinan and Steve Chambers of the Service‚Äôs Region 2 Regional Office, and George Ozuna, USGS San Antonio Office Chief.  The Service is involved in the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EA RIP) to address recovery of seven federally-listed species endemic to the Edwards Aquifer.

The SDM workshop was a collaborative effort between the Service and USGS to help bring together science and decision making in a structured way.  Structured decision making is a means to deconstruct a decision problem through a series of steps that identify which solution(s) come closest to meeting set objectives.  Generally, the process employs various methods to narrow the field of alternatives to achieve the best outcome.

Last month Dr. Tuggle, Regional Director for the Southwest Region of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, signed an MOA between the Service and the EA RIP committing to work together toward the goal of balancing the needs of water users and recovery of endangered species.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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