Step-by-Step Guide to Identifying Areas of Ecological Significance and Developing Stewardship Plans
2009 Feb 13

This document currently provides the broad approach to identifying and developing stewardship plans for areas of ecological significance. In time, WakeNature will provide more detailed information for each step. In the meantime, the current management plan template (see Resources page) provides a rubric to follow while gathering information that should be useful and considered in the process of making decisions.

1. Obtain and examine existing documentation for the site:
  • available maps and aerial photography to identify boundaries, topography, and access points
  • available documentation of the natural resources on the site, including prior inventories and current biotic characteristics [ Natural Heritage Program data; Wildlife Habitat Priority Areas ]
See the Resources page for more information.

2. Arrange a preliminary site visit with someone who has expertise in natural resource inventory, especially any of the elements discovered in Step 1. The purpose of this visit is to map (sketch) general habitat extent, availability, and condition. Because not all significant natural resources have been cataloged, it's a good idea to have someone with natural resources expertise visit the site even if nothing is uncovered in your examination of existing data. If you don't have anyone on staff, WakeNature can help locate someone.

3. Determine what (if any) further natural resource inventory is needed and arrange for it to be conducted. WakeNature can help with this.
  • Boilerplate Requests For Qualifications are available on the Resources page.
  • WakeNature might be able to arrange pro-bono professional help or student help through courses or workdays.

4. Use all information gathered to
  • influence site design (e.g., where to avoid development and trails)
  • create management plan objectives
  • develop prescriptions for stewardship of natural resources to be protected and enhanced.