IBMP Adaptive Management
OverviewAccording to the Department of the Interior, adaptive management is an iterative approach to natural resource policy that entails "...learning and adapting, through partnerships of managers, scientists, and other stakeholders...to create and maintain sustainable ecosystems". The adjacent figure shows that the adaptive management process embodies a simple imperative: On-the-ground management policies are experiments. After assessing the problem, we design the experiment, implement it, monitor the results, evaluate the monitoring data, and learn from it. From what we learn, we modify our plans and repeat the process.
IBMP Adaptive Management History & Current PlanThe IBMP has operated under an adaptive management framework since the signing of the IBMP Record of Decision (ROD) in 2000. Adjustments have been made to the framework numerous times, as captured in the documents that follow. The IBMP Partners created a formal adaptive management plan in December 2008 that incorporated changes made since the 2000 ROD. Since that point the IBMP Adaptive Management Plan has been considered a living document, updated annually or as appropriate.
Bulleted items below having gray background make up the current IBMP Adaptive Management Plan.
Other items are provided for the historical record. These items are either no longer in effect, or were compiled into a single-document IBMP Adaptive Management Plan (e.g., 2008, 2011, 2014).
- (Jun) ERRATUM to DEC 2015 Year-Round Habitat for Yellowstone Bison Environmental Assessment Decision Notice The ERRATUM provides clarification as to the geography and timing limits described under the Environmental Assessment (EA) Decision Notice. That EA notice can be found below in the 2015 listings. (Note that the ERRATUM and EA Decision Notice are labeled as occuring in November 2015. We list them here as occuring in December 2015, when the EA Descision Notice was publically released.)
- (May) 2016 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan
(with changes/markup shown |
as a clean document).
This change in the IBMP Adaptive Management (AM) Plan reflects additions and modifications resulting from
Governor Bullock's EA Decision On Year-Round Habitat for Yellowstone Bison (see item in December 2015 below). The
changes were applied to the previous (2014) AM Plan. As of its completed
signing date of May 6, 2016, the 2016 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan
supercedes all previous IBMP adaptive management documents.
[Of note: at their April 6, 2016 meeting the Partners recognized that the 2016 Winter Operations Plan would need to be updated to reflect the new 2016 IBMP AM Plan. Given how late into the operations season the signing of the 2016 AM Plan came, the Partners decided to simply add a sentence to the Winter Operations Plan saying, effectively, that their management operations will be carried out to meet the prescripts of the newly signed 2016 IBMP AM Plan.]
- (April) MT Governor's letter to MFWP and MBOL regarding accepting and implementing the 2016 IBMP AM Plan incorporating his EA decision on Year-Round Habitat for Yellowstone This letter was sent by the Governor Bullock prior to the 2016 IBMP AM Plan (see item directly above) being signed.
- (January) State of MT Governor's statement to the IBMP Administrative Record
This statement deals with the Governor's December 22, 2015 decision on Year-Round Habitat for Yellowstone Bison Environmental Assessment (EA; see item directly below). The EA reflects a proposed adaptive management change pending Partner agreement. The Partners discussed how to incorporate the Governor's EA decision into the IBMP Adaptive Managemnt Plan during their April 6, 2016 meeting.
- (December) Year-Round Habitat for Yellowstone Bison Environmental Assessment Decision Notice. The decision notice was released December 22, 2015 by Montana Governor Steve Bullock.
- (August) Change in format of the IBMP Annual Report At their meeting in Lapwai, ID, the Partners agreed to change the format for their Annual Report, streamling it to make it more useful. The change, though not an actual adaptive managment change, is reported on here because historically the IBMP Annual Report has been based upon a one-for-one mapping to the Adaptive Management Plan. With the change the Annual Report will still record the year's performance against the IBMP Adaptive Management Plan, but will no longer be constrained to the Adaptive Management Plan outline. The Partners considered this change to be administrative in nature and thus, following unanimous verbal agreement, that it did not require formal signature.
- 2014 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan (with changes/markup shown | as a clean document; note that the clean document has been slightly reformatted from the document showing markup). This document incorporates four changes into the 2011 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan: (1) the adaptive management change on the North Side hydrologic divide, (2) the new map incorporating recent North Side AM adjustment in Zone 2, (3) "Two adaptive management additions to Management Action 1.1b", and (4) the April 2011 Gardiner Basin adaptive management changes. As of its creation via Partner agreement at their July 30, 2014 meeting, the 2014 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan supercedes all previous IBMP adaptive management documents.
- An adaptive management change to support hazing of bison within Zone 2 for the entire management area to reduce the opportunity for bison to exit the tolerance area. Effective on last Partner signing date of November 7, 2013.
- New map incorporating recent North Side AM Adjustment into Zone 2. Effective on last Partner signing date of November 19, 2013.
- (August) Two adaptive management additions to Management Action 1.1b. Effective on signing date of August 30, 2012.
- 2011 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan
(changes/markup shown | as a clean document with a separate composite Partner signature page for these changes). This document resulted from modifying the December 2008 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan to include the Spring 2011 adaptive management changes. It was created prior to the court finding upholding the April 2011 Gardiner Basin adaptive management changes and, as such, does not include those adaptive management changes. Many Partner signatures to the 2011 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan were not dated. The last signature date shown is 7/25/12. This document superceded all adaptive management documents prior to it. **Note 1: The 2011 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan was initially dated Sep 16, 2011; it was later recirculated for final signatures on March 12, 2012. **Note 2: In May 2013 a small wording change was made to the 2011 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan Management Action 1.1c. That change is reflected as of May 2013 in the markup shown and clean documents linked to within this bullet.
- (January) Agreement to a set of Spring 2011 adaptive management changes, as shown by Partner signatures of a document highlighting the NEPA/MEPA analysis for these changes. Effective on last Partner signing date of January 19, 2012.
- (April) Gardiner Basin adaptive management changes.
The IBMP Partners discussed the results
of the Gardiner Basin adaptive management experiment conducted in Jan 2011 and concluded that the
northern IBMP management area boundary should be adjusted to encompass the Gardiner Basin on both
sides of the Yellowstone River.
NEPA adequacy for this change was evaluated and documented by the federal agencies.
MEPA adequacy for this change was evaluated and documented by the State of Montana
(environmental assessment and
Record of Decision--see note below).
These adaptive changes exist as an addition to the December 2008 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan (see bullet below). All Partners had signed by April 14, 2011. Note, however, because of a lawsuit challenging these changes, state agencies were required to withhold their absolute agreement until the lawsuit was settled on behalf of the Partners (i.e., upholding the Gardiner Basin adaptive management changes), which happened on January 7, 2013.
**Note: The State of Montana completed an environmental assessment (EA), rather than an environmental impact statement (EIS), requiring only a “decision notice” but no Finding Of No Significant Impact (which is required for an EIS). The State of Montana's decision notice labels the draft EA as “final”. No separate “final EA” was prepared beyond the reference in the decision notice, which is standard protocol for an EA.
- (April) Gardiner Basin adaptive management changes. The IBMP Partners discussed the results of the Gardiner Basin adaptive management experiment conducted in Jan 2011 and concluded that the northern IBMP management area boundary should be adjusted to encompass the Gardiner Basin on both sides of the Yellowstone River. NEPA adequacy for this change was evaluated and documented by the federal agencies. MEPA adequacy for this change was evaluated and documented by the State of Montana (environmental assessment and Record of Decision--see note below).
- (May) Review of Adaptive adjustments to the Interagency Bison Management Plan. This document demonstrates links for each of the management actions defined in the December 2008 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan to text from the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the IBMP (2000; see below).
- December 2008 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan was created as a single document encompassing Partner response to recommendations from a March 2008 Government Accounting Office Report (see "GAO Reports" section on the library page). The December 2008 IBMP Adaptive Management Plan collected all past adaptive management changes, plus added new ones per Partner deliberations, into a single place, superceding all adaptive management documents prior to it. Effective on signing date of December 17, 2008.
- IBMP adaptive management changes of 2006, shown as changes to the Winter Operating Procedures.
- IBMP Record of Decision (ROD, adaptive management described under Steps 1, 2, and 3)