Scenario Planning in the Cienegas Watershed

Project Dates

Resource managers face major challenges in developing medium- and long-term management plans considering the uncertainty arising from various climatic and socioeconomic factors. One approach to circumventing what can be a paralyzing level of uncertainty is Scenario Planning. This approach allows managers to “embrace uncertainty” and strategically prepare for a wide range of possible futures. In this project, we worked with the Cienegas Watershed Partnership to develop a set of scenario narratives, with specific scenario sets for each of four resource areas: Montane, Upland, Riparian, and Cultural. Participants were challenged to consider uncertainties and potential changes in climate, social, technological, economic, environmental, and political forces that are beyond the control of the Cienegas Watershed Partnership. Under the auspices of Scenario Planning, each resource group was able to consider and discuss future sets of conditions and management challenges that generally do not get a lot of attention.

Three newsletters were distributed to middle and upper management personnel across the various state and federal organizations that were involved in this project to keep them apprised of our progress.