Decision analysis and structured decision making are scientific approaches that support ecosystem recovery by helping decision makers to identify and select among alternative actions or strategic approaches.
Consistent with the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, the Puget Sound Partnership has used some tools from structured decisionmaking to guide recovery planning (such as the selection of Vital Sign indicators and setting of targets).
The Partnership has used other decision analysis approaches to provide objective ratings of Action Agenda sub-strategies, proposals for state funding, and pressures on the ecosystem. Some of the factors included in Partnership decision analyses include the potential ecological impact of actions, geographic scope and severity of pressures, feasibility of actions, irreversibility of stresses and resilience of ecosystems. These objective ratings are then considered by decisionmakers to select items to include in a recovery plan or in a budget proposal.