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By Richard B. Shepard

Fuzzy good judgment permits humans getting ready environmental influence statements to quantify complex environmental, fiscal and social conditions.  This reduces the time and price of checks, whereas generating justifiable results. 

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The challenge has been to incorporate public input in a consistent and meaningful way. Without formal methods for classifying, evaluating, and deciding on what concerns, components, and alternatives will be considered in the assessment, the process is unwieldy and overwhelming. In some cases, spreadsheets have been prepared and manual classification and evaluation have been done by teams of attorneys and paralegals. This situation can be greatly approved by both changes in how the scoping is conducted and by how the issues and concerns are processed and analyzed.

Rivers meander across their valley floors and can change from a single channel to a braided one, and back again. Sharp meanders are cut off during high flow events and the isolated former loops become oxbow lakes. Volcanic eruptions decimate the landscape, but plants and animals begin to return during the next growing season and the cycle begins again. Humans have changed environments for as long as we have been around as a species. There are fossil records of mammoth bones at the bases of ancient cliffs.

These two processes allow for informed decisions. ) released a report titled, “A Computerized Method for Abstracting and Evaluating Environmental Impact Statements” [18]. This report focuses specifically on dams and the impacts they create both up- and down-river from the project site. They use the Leopold Matrix method for impact assessment (discussed in Chapter 6 on page 39) and offer “. . a method by which the value judgments and estimates of evaluators may be dealt with statistically”. One reason that there is an extensive literature base on the goals and methods of environmental impact assessments is because environmental impact assessments are based on values, concepts, and expressions that cannot be measured using conventional tools.

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