Adaptive Management Approaches by Resource Management Agencies in the United States: Implications for Energy Development in the Interior West
Melinda Harm Benson
University of New Mexico
February 18, 2010
Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 87-118, 2010
Adaptive management is gaining influence among natural resource management decision-makers. In the United States, the Department of the Interior is now encouraging its agencies to utilise adaptive management when ‘appropriate.’ This is a positive step in natural resource management, reflecting a growing recognition of the need to integrate scientific uncertainty more effectively into agency planning and resource development. This new management scheme has potentially significant implications for energy development and its corresponding impacts on water and other resources. The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the primary agency responsible for managing 700 million subsurface acres of mineral estate. This article examines how the BLM might employ adaptive management in the context of oil and gas development to better protect resources in areas such as Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, where extraction of coal-bed methane has created significant controversy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Adaptive Management, Coalbed Methane, Energy Development
JEL Classification: Q28, Q48, K32
Date posted: February 18, 2010
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