Adaptive Management

  • Peter J. BalintEmail author
  • Ronald E. Stewart
  • Anand Desai
  • Lawrence C. Walters


Planners and decision makers often propose an adaptive management approach to deal with scientific uncertainties. As discussed in  chapter 4, however, when this approach is combined with the precautionary principle, as was the case in both the Northwest Forest Plan and the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment, it may lead to unintended negative effects that undermine management outcomes. The experimental nature of adaptive management accepts the possibility of some adverse outcomes. Indeed in adaptive policy making, limited adverse consequences can serve as the basis for learning. Yet this inherent threat of harm can conflict with precautionary approaches, resulting in significant constraints on management options.


Adaptive Management Precautionary Principle Wicked Problem Forest Plan Scientific Uncertainty 
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Copyright information

© Island Press 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Balint
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald E. Stewart
    • 2
  • Anand Desai
    • 3
  • Lawrence C. Walters
    • 4
  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  3. 3.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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