Polishing a Gem for Wilderness Research and Education: A Planning Proposal for Taylor Wilderness Research Station
The University of Idaho is awarded a grant to develop a strategic plan for the Taylor Wilderness Research Station (TWRS) in central Idaho. The Central Idaho Wilderness region is the largest contiguous tract of wild land in the lower U.S. with unparalleled possibilities to contribute to a future understanding of climate change impacts, wild fire effects, aquatic ecosystem function, invasive species, and large mammal predator-prey dynamics in pristine vs. managed western mountain habitats. Taylor Wilderness Research Station, in the middle of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and the Central Idaho Wilderness region, provides opportunities and advantages for furthering scientific understanding and educational experiences that go beyond the unique geographic setting. The primary product will be a 10-year Master Plan for strategic growth at the TWRS (physical plant, equipment, data management, communication) that optimizes logistical, operational and institutional goals. The Master Plan also will; 1) outline an education plan that provides unparalleled field experiences and the incorporation of Native American traditional knowledge, 2) develop external funding initiatives for research and education programs and facilities improvements, 3) identify necessary collaborations with neighboring field stations and agencies to address fundamental regional knowledge gaps, and 4) outline the strategy required for subsequent 2-3 year decade planning efforts.