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Insight into Enabling Adaptive Management

Lorne A. Greig, ESSA Technologies Ltd.
David R. Marmorek, ESSA Technologies Ltd.
Carol Murray, ESSA Technologies Ltd.
Donald C. E. Robinson, ESSA Technologies Ltd.


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The U.S. National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry recognized a need for effective adaptive management to support management for biological diversity. However, difficulties in implementing adaptive management in the U.S. Northwest Forest Plan led the Commission to wonder if comparisons across multiple adaptive management trials in the forest sector could provide insight into the factors that serve to enable or inhibit adaptive management. This comparison and the resulting discussions among a group of seasoned practitioners, with adaptive management experience at a variety of scales and levels of complexity, led to insights into a hierarchy of ten factors that can serve to either enable or inhibit implementation. Doing high quality adaptive management is about doing good science to enable learning from management experience. Enabling adaptive management though is about working with people to understand their concerns, to develop a common understanding and an environment of trust that allows adaptive management to proceed. Careful attention to enabling factors is critical to fulfilling the promise of adaptive management.

Key words

adaptive management; enabling factors; forest; inhibiting factors

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work 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