How should natural resource managers decide where to invest their time, budget, and resources? The National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Framework offers an answer to this question. The framework supports the day-to-day natural resource activities in parks that managers must attend to, but also looks for ways to position the NPS for an increasingly complex and dynamic future, while still fulfilling the mandate of the Organic Act. It offers a vision for parks and programs to advance stewardship and science with clarity of purpose and collaboration.
The framework lays out four pillars that serve as the science-based foundation for the NPS in the 21st century. They are:
- Holding the Line
- Managing amid Continuous Change
- Leveraging for Conservation at Scale
- Enhancing Stewardship and Science Access and Engagement
The pillars emphasize collaboration, cross-discipline learning, and synthesis; elevate scientific integrity; encourage a strong role for science in informing park management; and emphasize the value and need of law and development of policy guidance. Together, they equip the NPS to adapt and respond to continuous change, and focus on long-term ecological integrity and viability.
Each pillar includes several focus areas to provide further guidance and clarity. Which focus areas correspond to the work that you are doing? Think broadly. Does your work support more than one pillar?
To explore in more detail how the concepts in the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Framework inform NPS natural resource management, take the Exploring the Four Pillars learning activity, and on-line courses Introduction to Implementing Science in National Parks and Natural Resource Decision Making in a Changing Environment.