Every day, land managers must make decisions how to use limited time and financial resources to achieve management or restoration goals in parks, preserves, and other natural areas. Too often, “shotgun” or other ad hoc approaches are employed in the management of natural areas, resulting in ineffective or inefficient management. Using an objective, science-based approach to rank natural areas in terms of ecological quality offers a better way to prioritize areas for management, leading to more effective management outcomes. Recent research suggests that such an approach need not be complicated, expensive, or require advanced field skills to implement. This research has resulted in the development of a powerful – and surprisingly simple – rapid assessment method that can be used to prioritize restoration areas and inform management decisions. In this presentation, I will describe the development of the rapid assessment method and demonstrate its use via real-world management scenarios.