Improving Acquisition Systems
The EPA and The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with NOAA and USFWS hosted a workshop to better evaluate weak links and barriers in how we acquire a public trust interest in land for the purposes of ecosystem management. Improving acquisition systems was identified by Floodplains by Design teams, Coordinated Investment, and Vital Sign implementation strategies. It was added to the Puget Sound Federal Task Force work plan by NOAA's Coordinated Investment. Results will be shared with the Ecosystem Coordination Board and with some elements considered by the Water and Salmon Grant Program Coordination team.
The recovery of Puget Sound relies on protecting what we have and restoring priority habitats. To achieve this, we need to significantly improve our property acquisition system. How can we better coordinate federal, state, local and private acquisition, easement and lease authorities toward the restoration and recovery of Puget Sound, to increase the health, safety and productivity of our communities? This new acquisition system needs to be efficient, nimble, multi-benefit and strategic.
Many Puget Sound efforts have suggested that our land acquisition system may be a barrier to our effectiveness, including: The Federal Task Force interim action plan created by Federal Agencies, Floodplains by Design project barriers workshops, Coordinated Investment portfolio, Habitat Initiative Implementation Strategies (see National Estuary Program), the Water and Salmon Grant Program Coordination Workgroup, the 2014 watershed proviso report (Sahandy & Daily 2014), and the 2009 salmon recovery obstacles report (Blackmore 2009).
A small group has come together to organize a "solution oriented workshop" between federal state and local agency funding programs and on-the-ground acquisition experts to narrow our focus onto a few administrative and/or legislative actions that can make us more effective. The Puget Sound Federal Task Force, Results Washington, Ecosystem Coordination Board and other Puget Sound champions could carry out these actions.
- Coordinated Investment aims to use results of this workshop as part of its continuous improvement efforts.
- Water and Salmon Grant Program Coordination work group has expressed an interest to build on these efforts.
- Washington Association of Land Trusts could serve as an ongoing venue for evaluating improvement strategies.
- File:EPA et al 2018 Workshop announcement.pdf
- File:EPA et al 2018 draft problem statements.pdf
- An initial workshop in Tukwila gathered around 50 participants from agency grant programs and local acquisition workgroups to explore a proposed set of questions generated through interviews with acquisition professionals in a variety of ecosystem management sectors.