Developing inventory and monitoring programs based on multiple objectives
- Cite this article as:
- Schmoldt, D.L., Peterson, D.L. & Silsbee, D.G. Environmental Management (1994) 18: 707. doi:10.1007/BF02394635
Resource inventory and monitoring (I&M) programs in national parks combine multiple objectives in order to create a plan of action over a finite time horizon. Because all program activities are constrained by time and money, it is critical to plan I&M activities that make the best use of available agency resources. However, multiple objectives complicate a relatively straightforward allocation process. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) offers a structure for multiobjective decision making so that decision-makers’ preferences can be formally incorporated in seeking potential solutions. Within the AHP, inventory and monitoring program objectives and decision criteria are organized into a hierarchy. Pairwise comparisons among decision elements at any level of the hierarchy provide a ratio scale ranking of those elements. The resulting priority values for all projects are used as each project’s contribution to the value of an overall I&M program. These priorities, along with budget and personnel constraints, are formulated as a zero/one integer programming problem that can be solved to select those projects that produce the best program. An extensive example illustrates how this approach is being applied to I&M projects in national parks in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The proposed planning process provides an analytical framework for multicriteria decisionmaking that is rational, consistent, explicit, and defensible.