Why a policy of federal management and protection of ecosystems is a bad idea

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Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science B.V.


Government management and protection of ecosystems is often hailed as being a scientifically sound new approach to natural resource management. Little thought, however, has been given to the infirmities of the ecosystem concept when it is moved from the realm of research to that of public policy. This paper argues that government management and protection of ecosystems does not provide a rationale basis for land management policies. The arbitrary and capricious geographic nature of ecosystems makes them ill-suited to serve a spatial guides for governance while the goals of ecosystem management are nebulous at best. Policies of federal management and protection of ecosystems as entities on the landscape will inevitably lead to increased restrictions on the use of land and natural resources and to additional regulatory burdens.


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Ecosystem management, Natural resource management, Ecosystem, Conservation, Land use management, Public policy, Sound science, Ecosystem


Landscape and Urban Planning 40(1-3): 195-202