The Laws of Nature
Managing Ecosystems for A Sustainable Future
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: The University of Akron Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
I. Understanding and Evaluating Ecosystem Management Thus Far
1. An Ecosystem Management Primer History, Perceptions, and Modern Definition
Ecosystem management is still a relatively new field of study—then Forest Service Chief F. Dale Robertson coined the term just two decades ago in 19921—so its membership is still fairly small. But the issues are too important, too potentially life-altering, to leave to a handful of experts to worry about. This book is for everyone: law students, college and graduate students, experts...
2. Ecosystem-Based Management
Since the 1980s, ecosystem-based management (EBM) experiments have been undertaken around the world. Although detailed descriptions of individual projects abound,1 systematic assessments of their results remain sparse. In the 2000s, however, scholars began investigating the actual performance of EBM projects. The results of that research suggest that EBM has...
3. Integrating Law, Policy, and Science in Managing and Restoring Ecosystems
The term ‘ecosystem management’ reminds me of an episode of my favorite television program as a kid, the classic Star Trek series. In one episode, Dr. McCoy seemingly finds a long-lost love on a remote planet, looking even younger and lovelier than he remembers her. However, the young lady turns...
4. Whatever Happened to Ecosystem Manageme
To be honest, I did not know what to make of the invitation to write a chapter on ecosystem management (EM) and federal lands. My cynical side questioned the relevance of doing so, as a lot of thought has been given to the topic over the years. Yet here we are, roughly two decades after the...
II. Letting Theory Inform Practice
5. Ecosystem Services and Ecosystem Management—How Good a Fit?
By the mid-1990s, the evolving concept of ecosystem management had become the subject of intense debate in natural resources policy.1 In a landmark 1994 article in Conservation Biology, R. Edward Grumbine captured the state of play of that debate and synthesized what he drew from the literature on ecosystem management to define its central tenets.2 At the core of...
6. Ecosystem Management: A Policy-Oriented Jurisprudence Perspective
The environment is the “fragile envelope of our planet in which we all live,” and is presently “under unimaginable stress as industrial and science-based civilizations use the resources of the planet ever more intensively.”1 To address the unintended consequences of our intensive natural resource use (e.g., biodiversity loss, depletion of ocean fisheries, pollution...
III. Making Better Use of Existing Federal Law
7. Addition by Subtraction: NEPA Routines as Means to More Systemic Ends
This volume on ecosystem management and law seems a good place for some thoughts on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), “our basic national charter for protection of the environment.”1 NEPA is famously regarded in court as a ‘procedural’ statute, a statute that aims not for particular environmental outcomes but rather at the deliberative processes...
8. Restoration and Law in Ecosystem Management
Ecosystem management has been defined in many different ways,1 but most of those definitions share several key attributes. All involve managing at the scale of whole ecosystems rather than individual species or resources. All focus on ecosystem structure, function, and processes as opposed to individual components, and on the dynamic nature of ecosystems rather than...
9. Landscape-scale Conservation and Ecosystem Services: Leveraging Federal Policies
The context of conservation and resource management reveals a confluence of two trends as the twenty-first century unfolds. First is the broadening compass of conservation to landscape-scale evaluation and action. Efforts are telescoping outward to encompass whole watersheds and ecoregions and to undertake actions at a scale that accommodates interconnected and intersecting000
IV. Finding the Right Tools Going Forward
10. Wildlife Conservation,Climate Change, and Ecosystem Management
Grizzly bears have long roamed across Yellowstone National Park and beyond—a seminal fact that triggered a controversial early federal ecosystem management effort. Less than a quarter century ago, though protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Yellowstone grizzly population teetered on the edge of extinction, jeopardized by escalating development pressures...
11. From Principles to Practice: Developing a Vision and Policy Framework to Make Ecosystem Management a Reality
For decades, natural resource managers have struggled to reconcile the political realities of jurisdictional boundaries, land ownership, and agency mandates with the ecological realities of boundary-less ecosystems and ecological processes. As managers are increasingly confronted with issues that cross boundaries—like wildland fire, invasive species, climate change, and land use...
12. Valuation and Payment for Ecosystem Services as Tools to Improve Ecosystem Management
Ecosystems are biological communities comprised of living organisms interacting with each other and the nonliving physical environment. Natural ecosystem processes resulting from these interactions provide and support countless goods and services enjoyed by human society. Ecosystem (or...