CRAFT: Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools

UNC Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC)

SUMMARY: CRAFT (Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools) is designed primarily as a regional planning tool for use in a facilitated team environment for application to complex natural resource problems. The CRAFT decision making process improves the quality of decisions by streamlining objectives and tradeoffs and is designed to help groups understand the uncertainties that they face. The CRAFT process includes the following solutions:

  • a simplified approach of identifying and clarifying objectives;
  • a way to gain a feasible set of alternatives;
  • an ability to match real-life problems to existing models and tools; and
  • a method of calculating the risks and tradeoffs associated with different management scenarios.

Eastern Threat Center and NEMAC personnel serve as team facilitators that are familiar with CRAFT and by facilitating this process, the Eastern Threat Center builds on the capacity of regional teams and natural resources managers to make strategic decisions. In addition to improving end-user capabilities and expertise for comparative risk assessment, CRAFT aims to increase knowledge of risks and uncertainties related to ecological conditions and environmental threats.

EFETAC'S ROLE: Eastern Threat Center and NEMAC personnel partnered to develop the CRAFT toolset and are available to provide training.

STATUS: Completed

PROGRESS: The CRAFT website provides the user an overview of the CRAFT decision making process and hosts an interactive tutorial that illustrates the utility of Bayesian Belief Networks. In addition, the website provides an entry into the CRAFT Portals, a project-specific content management system for CRAFT teams. Each Portal features administrative features for teams, including team lists, document libraries, a calendar, and much more. The Portal also has CRAFT-specific functions like the CRAFT Wizard, a database-driven online application that allows teams to be led through the CRAFT process. A CRAFT user will also find an encyclopedic application called CRAFTiPedia on the website that provides the more detailed information that is needed for a CRAFT analysis.

CRAFT has supported efforts at multiple geographic and planning scales, including at the project level with a transportation impact assessment in the Cherokee National Forest, at the state level in developing a climate resiliency strategy in North Carolina, regionally in prioritizing areas impacted from sea level rise in the Albemarle-Pamlico region of North Carolina, and nationally with the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.



"CRAFTING Future Forests" (related article from CompassLive)


  • Jim Fox, NEMAC Director of Operations, or (828) 301-2075
  • Karin Rogers, NEMAC Research Scientist/Project Manager, or (828) 250-3892

Updated May 2017

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