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RRAT logo. Restoration Rapid Assessment Tool for Park Science

The Restoration Rapid Assessment Tool (RRAT) is an automated decision support tool used to evaluate and prioritize disturbed sites for potential ecological restoration. RRAT is based on field observations of key indicators of site degradation, stressors influencing the site, value of the site with respect to larger management objectives, likelihood of achieving the management goals, and logistical constraints to restoration. The purpose of RRAT is not to make restoration decisions or prescribe methods, but rather to ensure that a basic set of pertinent issues are considered for each site and to facilitate comparisons among sites.

RRAT was developed by a team of scientists, programmers, and student researchers from the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Arizona University, and University of Minnesota. It is formatted in Microsoft Access programmed with Visual Basic and is provided in a stable .mde format.

The concepts and use of RRAT are generally described in the RRAT User’s Manual. ( 2.1M) Uses and application of RRAT are also described in the Park Science article ‘Development of a rapid assessment tool for restoration’ (in press).

To Install and use RRAT

Microsoft Access 2003 or greater must be installed on your computer to use the RRAT application. Download the ( 5.6M) file to a folder on you computer. We recommend making a folder named RRAT in your root directory from which the program can be run, e.g. C:\RRAT. Once the .zip file is downloaded, you can extract the four files within: readme.txt, RRAT_Help.chm, RRAT_Manual_V1.pdf, and RRAT_Tool_v1.mde.

After extracting the files, click the RRAT_Tool_v1.mde file to open the RRAT application. You will need to hit the ‘No’ response when asked ‘Do you want to block unsafe expressions?’, and then the ‘Open’ button for the next question. The RRAT splash page should now appear and you can begin using RRAT.

We recommend reading the RRAT User’s Manual prior to using the application. The manual is included with the .zip file as a .pdf. It is also viewable as the RRAT_Help.chm file and from within the application. Do not remove the RRAT_Help.chm file from the same folder as the RRAT_Tool_v1.mde file; the application will not work properly if these are in different folders. The RRAT_Manual_V1.pdf does not need to be in the same folder.

This resource should be cited as:

Hiebert, R., D. L. Larson, K. Thomas, N. Tancreto, D. Haines, A. Richey, T. Dow, and L. Drees. 2009. The Restoration Rapid Assessment Tool: An Access/Visual Basic application, version 1.0. National Park Service.

Contact Ron Hiebert at for any questions about the development or use of RRAT.

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