Tools for the Restoration Economy

Tools to Assist in the Development of a Local Restoration Economy

Although considerable attention is frequently paid to ecological assessment, planning, and implementation, explicit strategies to improve economic opportunities from restoration activities are often neglected. The improvement of economic well-being requires deliberate, thoughtful assessment, planning, and monitoring just as progress in ecological well-being does. Although the assessment, planning, and monitoring need not be highly technical, these processes are necessary to ensure that: (1) groups develop deliberate strategies and incorporate them into annual work planning, and (2) the strategies are well matched to local conditions. Like ecological restoration, improving economic well-being depends on identifying limiting factors and taking advantage of strengths. The resources on the following pages aim to help collaborative groups, their agency partners, and other stakeholders develop and implement strategies to improve the quality and quantity of the local economic opportunities that are being created through private and public land restoration. We break these resources into 4 key stages: 1) Assess and Plan2) Calculate3) Act, and 4) Monitor.


Stages in developing a local restoration economy:

Assess & Plan: Conducting a restoration industry assessment and developing an action plan are the first steps in developing a local restoration economy.

Calculate: With plans in place, it is important to estimate the local economic impacts.

Act: After developing an action plan and estimating local impacts, it is time to put that information to use.

Monitor: Monitoring can provide data on restoration projects and programs that can be used improve socioeconomic outcomes of restoration through adaptive management. The insights from monitoring then feedback into updated assessments and plans and the cycle begins anew.


What is a Local Restoration Economy?

A local restoration economy consists of the types and amount of restoration work undertaken in a particular area, the businesses contracted to perform that work, and workers hired to do the work. Land managers find contractors to perform services through the contract market. Contractors and workers find each other in the labor market. Understanding the local ecosystem management industry requires understanding landowners, businesses, workers, and the contract and labor markets that connect them.