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Adaptive Management and the Northwest Forest Plan: Rhetoric and Reality

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Adaptive management represents a process to use management policies as a source of learning, which in turn can inform subsequent actions. However, despite its appealing and apparently straightforward objectives, examples of successful implementation remain elusive, and a review of efforts to implement an adaptive approach in the Northwest Forest Plan proves the point. Barriers include an institutional and regulatory environment that stymies innovation, increasing workloads coupled with declining resources that constrain learning-based approaches, and a lack of leadership. The time is right to learn from experiences and consider alternatives.

Keywords: Pacific Northwest; USDA Forest Service; endangered species; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; policy

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Research Social Scientist Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR, 97330, 2: Principal Plant Physiologist Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR, 97330, 3: Assistant Professor College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, 4: Associate Professor Department of Forest Resources, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 5: Professor Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, 6: Research Forester Forestry Sciences Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, Seattle, Washington, 7: Forestry Consultant Sherwood, Oregon,

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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