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Technical Commentary: Reverse Technology Transfer: Obtaining Feedback from Managers

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Forestry policy, planning, and practice have changed rapidly with implementation of ecosystem management by federal, state, tribal, and private organizations. Implementation entails new concepts, terminology, and management approaches. Yet there seems to have been little organized effort to obtain feedback from on-the-ground managers on the practicality of implementing ecosystem management. We convened a colloquium in Forks, WA, in 1997 to assess the state of ecosystem management. We used a recent interagency modeling exercise to formulate six concepts and questions to present to small working groups of practitioners and listening groups of a scientist, regulator, and conservation group member. Concepts and practices varied in a degree of development and sophistication; practitioners varied in sophistication and comfort with concepts. Many expressed dissatisfaction with new terminology they perceived as abstract and not operational. Research and technology transfer needs were identified. Organizational culture, structure, and centralization of decision making appeared to have influenced the creativity, systems thinking, and professional development of managers. Some practitioners, however, demonstrated narrow focus apparently arising from traditional disciplinary allegiances. Implications for organizations are discussed. West. J. Appl. For. 14(3):153-163.
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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: College of Forest Resources University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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