An (2010-11) article by Ruhl and Fischmann “Adaptive Management in the Courts.” Minnesota Law Review, 95, 424-484, analyzes the treatment of the concept of adaptive management by courts. A key point they make is that adaptive management is often loosely interpreted as “learning by doing” without any specific substantive criteria to determine outcomes. They label this very loose “process-oriented” adaptive management as “a-m/lite,” “a watered-down version of the theory that resembles ad hoc contingency planning more than it does planned "learning while doing” (p. 426). Adaptive management has been employed to deal with the problem that we often lack much information on factors that will preserve a threatened species and thus must employ some trial and error to find out. However, Ruhl and Fischmann point out that this flexibility and so-called a-m/lite is used to avoid making hard decisions due to politics. They illustrate this point with a vague plan for reducing the winter elk population in the National Elk Refuge. They say that the vagueness of this “adaptive plan” dodge a controversial issue because of strong political support for feeding the elk. They conclude by arguing for adaptive management plans that “(1) clearly articulate measurable goals, (2) identify testable hypotheses (or some other method of structured learning from conceptual models), and (3) state exactly what criteria should apply in evaluating the management experiments.” (p. 482).
During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.