Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 4, Iss. 1 > Resp. 7 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Are There Scientific Criteria for Putting Short-term Conservation Ahead of Learning? No.

Richard A Hinrichsen, Hinrichsen Environmental Services


Full Text: HTML
Download Citation


Kai Lee asks "Are there clearly articulated scientific criteria for putting short-term conservation ahead of learning? (That is, are there conservation situations where we know enough not to need to worry about surprises?)" There can be no such scientific criteria, even in the most trivial of circumstances, because it is really a question of societal values. In cases in which societal values favor conservation of an endangered or threatened population, reliable learning is unlikely to be placed ahead of short-term conservation, partly because it is uncertain whether learning will really improve the prospects for population recovery. Given the prevailing societal values and scientific realities surrounding endangered or threatened populations, the question is not when short-term conservation can objectively be put ahead of learning, but whether either can be accomplished.

Key words

Snake River, adaptive management, chinook salmon, endangered populations, learning, scientific criteria, short-term conservation, societal values

Copyright © 2000 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087