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Publication Information

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Title: Learning to manage a complex ecosystem: adaptive management and the Northwest Forest Plan.

Author: Stankey, George H.; Clark, Roger N.; Bormann, Bernard T. eds.;

Date: 2006

Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-567. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 194 p

Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)

Description: The Northwest Forest Plan (the Plan) identifies adaptive management as a central strategy for effective implementation. Despite this, there has been a lack of any systematic evaluation of its performance. This study is based on an extensive literature review, 50 interviews with resource managers and scientists involved with the Plan’s implementation, and a survey of over 400 citizens in Oregon and Washington who participated in public involvement programs related to the adaptive management elements of the Plan. The study documents experiences with adaptive approaches, identifies key facilitators of, and barriers to, implementation of such approaches, and suggests needed changes to enhance implementation. Major problems confront efforts to undertake adaptive approaches, and these derive from a complex set of factors including a risk-averse organizational culture; a restrictive legal-political environment; and inadequate training, staffing, and financial resources.

Keywords: Adaptive management, decisionmaking, complexity, risk and uncertainty, social learning, precautionary principle

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

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Stankey, George H.; Clark, Roger N.; Bormann, Bernard T., eds. 2006. Learning to manage a complex ecosystem: adaptive management and the Northwest Forest Plan. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-567. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 194 p

 


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