GUIDELINES FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
It is anticipated that three main types of science are likely to occur within MCNCA:
1. Assessment, inventory, and monitoring;
2. Solicited science addressing management questions/science needs;
3. Unsolicited contributed scientific studies.
There are numberous topis of research that may be addressed by these three types of inquiries including but not limited to: botany, wildlife studies, anthropology (including archaeology), paleontology, and recreation studies.
General guidelines that apply to all types of science in MCNCA include:
1. All scientific investigation must comply with relevant laws and regulations.
2. All non-permitted external scientific investigations must be authorized, according to the procedures described below.
a. The final decision for granting authorization will be the MCNCA manager.
3. Science should not impact the long term health or sustainability of the resources of MCNCA, especially the values for which MCNCA was designated.
a. If impacts are anticipated, appropriate government protocols should be followed and the potential gains should be carefully considered and weighed against potential impacts.
4. A balance must be maintained between research and education, and preservation and protection of MCNCA resources.
5. Scientists initiating research projects within MCNCA should be aware of existing data within the BLM and should incorporate these data into projects whenever possible.
6. Proposed research within the Black Ridge Wilderness Area should comply with appropraite laws and regulations including the Wilderness Act of 1964 and BLM wilderness policy (Manual 6340).
a. Proposals must be carefully evaluated for legal and policy compliance, scientific merit, and impacts and benefits (Landres 2000). A set of worksheets may be used to ensure that scientific proposals are evaluated in a consistent way and should be completed for each scientific proposal considered within the wilderness area.
7. MCNCA staff should use all available monitoring protocols to achieve adequate monitoring of the resources of MCNCA (e.g. land health assessments), especially with consideration to the national Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring Strategy (AIM; BLM 2011).
a. For example, sampling techniques and consideration of the three indentified key ecosystem attributes; soil/site stability, hydrologic function, and biological integrity (BLM 2011).