Ecosystem Processes and Holistic Management

The Ecosystem Processes are a vital element in the Holistic Decision-Making Framework. The Holistic Context—the guiding force behind holistic decision making—rests on the foundation of our ecosystem. When you begin to practice Holistic Management, you define the whole you are responsible for managing and then develop a Holistic Context. The Holistic Context describes how you want your life to be (quality of life) and what must be in place to sustain what you produce far into the future (future resource base). For the land manager, this means, in part, describing how you not only want the land to look but how it must look and how the ecosystem processes must be functioning now and far into the future to sustain the forms of production described in your Holistic Context.

If you were to consciously modify any one of these processes, you automatically modify them all in some way because they are interrelated. Another way to think about it is to view these four processes as four separate windows looking into the same room—you get four different perspectives of the same thing: our ecosystem.

Through one window you view the water cycle, through another, the mineral cycle, and so on. But they are all looking in on the same room—the ecosystem that sustains us.