Environmental Management

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 667–674 | Cite as

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

  • Emery Roe


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 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Allen, T. and T. Hoekstra. 1992. Toward a unified ecology. Columbia University Press. New York.Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, D. and J. Weiss. 1977. Social Science and social policy: Schools and race.In C. Weiss (ed.), Using social research in public policy making. Lexington Books, Toronto.Google Scholar
  3. Kessler, W. 1993. Evolution of range ecology practices and policy: Back to our rangeland roots.Rangelands 15:101–103.Google Scholar
  4. Ragin, C. 1992. Introduction: Cases of ‘What is a case?’In C. Ragin and H. Becker, (eds.), What is a case: Exploring the foundations of social inquiry. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  5. Roe, E. 1994. Narrative policy analysis. Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  6. Ruth, L. and R. Standiford (compilers). 1994. Conserving the California spotted owl: Impacts of interim policies and implications for the long-term. Report 33. Wildland Resources Center, University of California. Berkeley, California.Google Scholar
  7. Stoddart, L., A. Smith, and T. Box. 1975. Range management. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Swanson, A.P., M. Haire, and P.O. Swartz. 1994. Chesapeake Bay: Managing an ecosystem. Issues and actions. Chesapeake Bay Commission, Annapolis, Maryland.Google Scholar
  9. USDA (United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service; and the Environmental Protection Agency). 1993. Forest ecosystem management: An ecological, economic, and social assessment. Report of the forest ecosystem management assessment team (FEMAT). US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  10. USDA (United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management). 1994. Final supplemental environmental impact statement on management of habitat for late successional and old-growth forest related species within the range of the northern spotted owl, Vol I (Glossary). Portland, Oregon.Google Scholar
  11. Verner, J., K. McKelvey, B. Noon, R. Gutierrez, G. Gould, Jr., and T. Beck. 1992. The California spotted owl: A technical assessment of its current status. General technical report. PSW-GTR-133. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture, Albany, California.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emery Roe
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Natural ResourcesUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations