Volume 2 Issue 1


An old proverb suggests, and science has demonstrated that, two eyes are better than one. For stewardship cost analyses using the PAR App, we contend that four are better than two. Specifically, the outcome from these analyses are usually of such importance—having perpetual implications—that quality control is essential. CNLM practices quality control through separation of the ‘preparation’ and ‘review’ functions: one staffer prepares the PAR (determining assumptions, tasks, and costs and populating the PAR App) and another reviews the analysis.

Review of the draft PAR report is especially important in that there is considerable discretion involved in parsing a management plan into tasks and costs. The assumptions of the PAR preparer should be reviewed for rigor. Further, there may be considerable representation of an organization’s business model in the PAR—for example, the overhead rate, labor rates, use of contingency, and capitalization (or draw-down) rate. As such, it’s important to review for compliance with these business decisions and assumptions.

When the PAR App was first offered to the public in 2018, CNLM encouraged the separation of these functions—PAR preparation and PAR review—by providing two roles and user accounts for the App, PAR Reviewer and PAR Preparer. However, not only was it unnecessary to provide that separation in function through the App access, but, in some cases, both roles were not used. In other cases, this created confusion—for example, in situations where those two roles resided in different entities (the subscription can only be offered to one entity). We now offer just one role and user account (registrant) for a PAR App subscription. However, we strongly encourage the good (indeed, we believe essential) practice of separating the PAR preparation and review function. This can be easily accomplished by printing the draft PAR report and sharing it with one or more reviewers, either within or external to (e.g., a client) the subscribing organization. Assumptions key to the decision-making process in the PAR can be provided in the Review Comment box (visible within the App only) or a Notes/Comment box, which enables the text to be printed in the report (see PAR App tip).


General tips and pointers for using and navigating the App.

Use the Review mode for internal comments and review process.  By changing the status of a PAR to “Ready for Review” you enable review mode, which allows you to include internal comments that are visible in the PAR App only and will not be printed in your report.

In Review mode, the red Review Comment boxes will appear at the end of each section. The purpose of these comment boxes is to allow you to include internal notes, particularly in regards to reviewing your data. Neither the Review Comment boxes, nor the text within the boxes will print in the PAR report, so these notes are for your eyes only. This function is completely optional. If you wish to remove the comments and comment boxes revert the status of the PAR back to “PAR Initiated”. The “Assumptions” column in the Tasks and Costs Analysis section functions similarly (text entered is only visible within the App, does not print in report).

To include assumptions or notes that WILL be printed in the report, use the Notes/Comments box at the end of each section.



Information or ideas on how to approach the determination of tasks or costs to be included in your PAR.

What are some key points in reviewing a PAR report?

Every task or line item in the PAR is important. However, the items in the ‘ongoing’ or perpetual section of the PAR affect the endowment calculation and thus are particularly deserving of attention. If items are especially vulnerable to spikes in costs or loss or damage over time, consider including or increasing the contingency amount. Is the frequency of each item or activity appropriate? The administrative cost can be adjusted for each line item if desired – consider whether some items are particularly heavy in support requirements. If volunteers are included as part of the stewardship system, ensure costs are included for recruiting, training, overseeing, and supporting them. Ensure that travel costs are comprehensive and include not only the direct means (e.g., mileage, airfare) but bridge tolls, parking, company branding (e.g., magnetic signs), and ancillary travel (e.g., travel on the preserve itself not just to/from points of origin, travel to purchase supplies, etc.). If contracts are included, ensure that the full costs of administering those contracts (drafting the scope of work and conditions, managing multiple bids, providing follow-up or assessment of contract completion etc.) are included. And finally (although this is just a sample of review considerations), it may be helpful to conduct some ‘feels right’ tests. Check the annual calculated stewardship cost: does this generally ‘seem’ like an appropriate amount? If it seems high, check for items that have been miscalculated. If too low, consider what might have been left out, priced too modestly, or inserted at a frequency that is lower than needed. And check the labor summary: if, for example, a 20% FTE position has been calculated, does it seem reasonable that five such preserves could be managed by one person?


Q: Why are there multiple items related to the same thing in some of the sections? For example, in the Document List there is a line for “CEQA/NEPA document” and also a line for “Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment”) .

A: The items provided in all sections of the PAR App (except for the required fields) are simply “options” and you may choose the ones that best suit your needs. In many of the sections, such as the Document List, you can also edit the text to be more specific to your needs (double-click/click on the text you want to edit), or write in your own (double-click/click a blank cell at the bottom of the table).


Deborah L. Rogers, Ph.D.
Director of Conservation Science and Stewardship

Michelle A. Labbé, M.S.
Conservation Analyst

Romina A. Roque
IT Assistant

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