Practitioner Perceptions of Adaptive Management Implementation in the United States
Benson, M. H. and A. B. Stone (2013). “Practitioner Perceptions of Adaptive Management Implementation in the United States.” Ecology and Society 18 (3): 32
28 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2013 Last revised: 6 Jun 2014
Date Written: February 22, 2013
Adaptive management is a growing trend within environment and natural resource management efforts in the United States. While many proponents of adaptive management emphasize the need for collaborative, iterative governance processes to facilitate adaptive management, legal scholars note that current legal requirements and processes in the United States often make it difficult to provide the necessary institutional support and flexibility for successful adaptive management implementation. Our research explores this potential disconnect between adaptive management theory and practice by interviewing practitioners in the field. We conducted a survey of individuals associated with the Collaborative Adaptive Management Network (CAMNet), a nongovernmental organization that promotes adaptive management and facilitates in its implementation. The survey was sent via email to the 144 participants who attended CAMNet Rendezvous during years 2007-2011 and yielded 48 responses. Our research found that practitioners do feel hampered by legal and institutional constraints: well over 70% not only believed that constraints exist and could specifically name one or more example of a legal constraint on their work implementing adaptive management. At the same time, we found practitioners generally optimistic about potential for institutional reform.
Keywords: adaptive management, organizational change, Collaborative Adaptive Management Network
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