Examples of SEI's Review Processes
Science Advisory or Review Panels
In the controversial Headwaters HCP (http://www.sei.org/forest/forest_hdwtrs_main.html), SEI's advisory panel has overseen the science concerning marbled murrelets and spotted owls. The panel guided scientific processes during plan negotiation, and emphasized the uncertainties in information. Ultimately this led to a highly conservative approach to the final HCP. The panel continues to advise during plan implementation, on issues of monitoring and research
In the Columbia River Channel Deepening Project (http://www.sei.org/columbia/home.html), SEI convened a panel to address differences between different federal agencies. Over a six-month period, the panel considered presentations from all sides. Ultimately the process led to resolution of differences, and a decision by the Corps of Engineers to proceed with the project.
Other SEI advisory or review panels have considered control of pest birds (starlings), silviculture in Redwood forests.
In a number of Caribbean projects, SEI provided independent review to governments, environmental groups, and citizens. On Montserrat, (http://www.sei.org/mont.html), the review led to substantial changes in the construction of a jetty (http://www.sei.org/jetty_sum.html), so as to minimize effects on reefs. This project is now considered a model of environmentally-friendly development. On Anguilla, our review concluded that development plans for Sombrero Is lacked scientific credibility, and were inadequate. The project was subsequently abandoned.
In the San Bruno HCP, SEI has advised on monitoring programs for endangered butterflies. Our review found that existing monitoring methods were inadequate to detect changes in the population.
In Telluride (CO) (http://www.sei.org/sanmiguel/index.html) , SEI reviewed existing knowledge on an important wetland. This subsequently led to new research, including the discovery of five new, previously unknown species of insect. These scientific results have helped to frame the ongoing negotiations over the future of the wetlands.
Other in-process reviews include: evaluation of the Loomis Forest (http://www.ecosystem.org/projects_loomis.html) conservation plan; review of the Monterey County General Plan (http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/gpu/)(requested by local citizens), analysis of Big Creek Lumber's murrelet monitoring program, and proposed regulation of Jet-Skis by San Juan County (WA).
SEI has committed to provide the US Fish and Wildlife Service with review of Service proposals and actions (see agreement http://www.sei.org/fwsprltr.html). Reviews have included decisions on Listings, Habitat Conservation Plans (Butterflies), Recovery Plans (e.g. Steller's Eider) and Critical Habitat designations (e.g. Scotts Valley Spineflower, Gulf Sturgeon, Hawaiian moth).
The Forest Service has used SEI reviews for conservation assessments of many species, including Goshawks, bats, snakes, and salamanders. Other planning documents have also been reviewed (e.g. Interior Columbia Vertebrate Assessments).
Sustainable Ecosystems Institute