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    Decision science approaches

    Suitability for the forest ecosystem services to be valued:
    Spiritual, cultural services
    Description of the service:
    Decision science approaches derive information about people’s values through a deliberative process that helps individuals to understand and assess trade-offs among multiple attributes. The ultimate goal is for an individual or group to assign scores to alternatives (e.g. different projects) that can then be used to choose among those alternatives, recognizing that those alternatives will differ along a number of relevant dimensions or attributes. Generally, one alternative will score higher along some dimensions but not others, suggesting that trade-offs must be made when choosing among alternatives.
    Benefits of the method:
    Ability to not only integrate multiple attributes value, but also engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders, holders of traditional ecological or cultural knowledge, and technical experts in the valuation process
    High potential for identifying changes in ecosystems and their services that are likely to be of greatest concern to people
    Method may potentially overcome (primarily) public or stakeholder objections to other approaches that are not perceived to adequately include moral and other non-monetary aspects of value
    Limitations of the method:
    The trade-offs are typically not easy to make
    It requires time and expertise resources
    Engaging with stakeholders and technical experts to identify attributes that will be the focus of analysis, collecting data that characterizes these attributes, and the process of making trade-offs all will require effort on the part of Environmental Protection Agency