Bringing stakeholders, scientists, and managers together through an integrated ecosystem assessment process
For decades, the scientific community has conducted essential background research and developed appropriate modeling tools in support of an ecosystem-based approach to natural resource management. Resource managers and the public, however, lack a clear roadmap for working with scientists to move beyond the traditional single-species approach. With current management processes so strongly focused on working in a species-by-species framework, there are entrenched cultural and institutional challenges to shifting those processes toward ecosystem-based management. We propose using the integrated ecosystem assessment process to both develop new management ideas for a particular ecosystem, and to help shift public policy processes and perceptions to embrace ecosystem approaches to management.
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