Ecosystem management: Expanding the resource management 'tool kit'
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Ecosystem management can be thought of as the minimum set of tools a land manager should have available in attempting to define sustainable alternatives for the interactions of people and the environment. It is a term that specifically refers to a process or set of activities for addressing resource management, not a prescribed outcome. As a pre-decisional process, ecosystem management amends and expands the resource management tool kit that field-level professionals rely on to understand and manage lands and resources in an ecological context. The focus of this paper is to highlight the activities in the ecosystem management 'tool kit' that are common for many agencies and organizations. Natural resources exist within certain limits and capacities. Humans are faced with difficult choices in determining how they will interact with the environment to provide for essential materials and services and maintain a healthy environment. The approach does not necessarily make hard choices any easier. The ecosystem management tool kit does support making difficult choices in the most informed and professional manner possible.
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