Over the past three decades, considerable effort has been invested in the development of complex and comprehensive ecosystem classifications and inventories in many parts of North America. Paralleling this has been an evolution in those hierarchical frameworks guiding the development and application of classifications. However, resource management agencies continue to grapple with the dilemma of applying multiple classification and inventory templates over large jurisdictions, especially as they attempt to address ecosystem management objectives. Given that Canada and the United States share ecosystems and that commitments have been made by all levels of government to make progress towards ecosystem-based approaches to management, there is a need to provide the proper tools. Comprehensive goals will not be achieved without collaboration and cooperation.This paper outlines the range of ecosystem classification approaches that exist in the Upper Great Lakes region. Canadian and American national hierarchical frameworks are briefly examined. Specific information needs and tasks are outlined which must be followed, independent of national boundaries, for the successful integration of planning and monitoring programs for large regional ecosystems.A general model is proposed for the development and application of an integrated, multi-scale and bi-national ecosystem classification, inventory and information system. This approach would facilitate data sharing and communication across jurisdictional boundaries.
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- A Spatial Hierarchical Framework for the Co-Management of Ecosystems in Canada and the United States for the Upper Great Lakes Region
Peter W. C. Uhlig
James K. Jordan
- Springer Netherlands
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