Resource managers face increasingly complex decisions as they attempt to manage for
the long-term sustainability and the health of natural resources. Incorporating ecosystem
services into decision processes provides a means for increasing public engagement
and generating more transparent consideration of tradeoffs that may help to garner
participation and buy-in from communities and avoid unintended consequences. A 2015
White House memorandum from the Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Management
and Budget, and Office of Science Technology and Policy acknowledged these benefits
and asked all federal agencies to incorporate ecosystem services into their decision
making. This working paper, expanded since its initial publication in November 2016,
describes the ecological and social data and models available for quantifying the
production and value of many ecosystem services across the United States. To achieve
nationwide inclusion of ecosystem services, federal agencies will need to continue
to build out and provide support for this essential informational infrastructure.
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