Adaptive Management on Public Lands in the United States: Commitment or Rhetoric?

Adaptive Management on Public Lands in the United States: Commitment or Rhetoric? Adaptive management (AM) is the process of implementing land management activities in incremental steps and evaluating whether desired outcomes are being achieved at each step. If conditions deviate substantially from predictions, management activities are adjusted to achieve the desired outcomes. Thus, AM is a kind of monitoring, an activity that land management agencies have done poorly for the most part, at least with respect to ground-based monitoring. Will they do better in the future? We doubt it unless costs, personnel, and future commitment are seriously addressed. Because ecosystem responses to management impacts can ripple into the distant future, monitoring programs that address only the near future (e.g., 10–20 years), are probably unreliable for making statements about resource conditions in the distant future. We give examples of this. Feedback loops between ecosystem response and adjustment of management actions are often broken, and therefore AM again fails. Successful ground-based monitoring must address these and other points that agencies commonly ignore. As part of the solution, publics distrustful of agency activities should be included in any monitoring program. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Management Springer Journals

Adaptive Management on Public Lands in the United States: Commitment or Rhetoric?

Environmental Management, Volume 28 (2) – Aug 1, 2001

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Subject
Environment; Environmental Management; Ecology; Nature Conservation; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Forestry Management; Waste Water Technology / Water Pollution Control / Water Management / Aquatic Pollution
ISSN
0364-152X
eISSN
1432-1009
DOI
10.1007/s002670010213
pmid
11443379
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Adaptive management (AM) is the process of implementing land management activities in incremental steps and evaluating whether desired outcomes are being achieved at each step. If conditions deviate substantially from predictions, management activities are adjusted to achieve the desired outcomes. Thus, AM is a kind of monitoring, an activity that land management agencies have done poorly for the most part, at least with respect to ground-based monitoring. Will they do better in the future? We doubt it unless costs, personnel, and future commitment are seriously addressed. Because ecosystem responses to management impacts can ripple into the distant future, monitoring programs that address only the near future (e.g., 10–20 years), are probably unreliable for making statements about resource conditions in the distant future. We give examples of this. Feedback loops between ecosystem response and adjustment of management actions are often broken, and therefore AM again fails. Successful ground-based monitoring must address these and other points that agencies commonly ignore. As part of the solution, publics distrustful of agency activities should be included in any monitoring program.

Journal

Environmental ManagementSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 1, 2001

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