Environmental Management

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 667-674

First online:

Why ecosystem management can't work without Social science: An example from the California northern spotted owl controversy

  • Emery RoeAffiliated withCollege of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley

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It is increasingly obvious that social science, while not a sufficient condition for making ecosystem management effective, is a necessary condition. A social science typology of ecosystems is developed, applied, and shown to have substantial and unexpected implications for the practice of ecosystem management. Ecologists and environmental scientists, in particular, will find some conclusions uncomfortable. The application involves a case material from the California northern spotted owl controversy.

Key words

Ecosystem management Social science Adaptive management Top-down versus bottom-up planning Outside-in versus inside-out planning