An adaptive approach to planning and decision-making
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A formal process of adaptive management will be required to maximize the benefits of any option for land and natural resource management and to achieve long-term objectives through implementation of ecosystem management. The process itself is straightforward and simple: new information is identified, evaluated, and a determination is made whether to adjust strategy or goals. While relatively straightforward, applying the concept of adaptive management to complex management strategies requires answers to several critical questions. What new information should compel an adjustment to the management strategy? What threshold should trigger this adjustment? Who decides when and how to make adjustments? What are the definitions and thresholds of acceptable results? Adaptive ecosystem management depends on a continually evolving understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in both biological and social systems. Planning for and adapting to surprise will provide an proactive rather than a reactionary basis for more informed decisions.