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Human Dimensions: The Democracy of Natural Resources


The relationship between natural resource management and society today has ... Natural resources and people are intertwined, and can not be separated ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Human Dimensions: The Democracy of Natural Resources

Human Dimensions The Democracy of Natural
  • David K. Loomis, Ph.D.
  • Human Dimensions Research Unit
  • Department of Natural Resources Conservation
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • NRC 382

Resource Status Check
  • Natural resource condition
  • Some are in good condition
  • Some are not in good condition
  • For those not in good condition, change it
  • Improve management
  • Restoration
  • Rehabilitation
  • But, not as easy as it seems (for some real and
    significant reasons)

The Big Questions
  • Why is resource management, protection or
    restoration important?
  • And, who cares?
  • These questions need to be answered
  • Human dimensions is critical to understanding and
    answering these questions

Purpose Today
  • Review some history of resource management
  • Consider contemporary resource management
  • Examine the role of human dimensions (and what is
  • Apply to resource management
  • Why incorporate human dimensions
  • What is the benefit of incorporating human
  • How does this help us answer the big questions

History of Resource Management
  • 1620 to 1825 none
  • 1825 to 1885 or so exploitation/disposal
  • 1885 to 1920 scientific approach (experts)
  • 1920 to 1960 or so commodity era
  • 1960 to 1985 or so environmental movement,
    and environmental legislation
  • 1985 to today public involvement, conflict,
    disagreement, and litigation

Why the Conflict and Litigation?
  • Resource managers are well trained and very
  • Have solid scientific training in their
  • Have best of intentions
  • Want what is best for the resource
  • Believe what they are doing is best for the
    resource, and the interests of the public

History of Resource Management
  • 1620 to 1825 none
  • 1825 to 1885 or so exploitation
  • 1885 to 1920 scientific approach (experts)
  • 1920 to 1960 or so commodity era
  • 1960 to 1985 or so environmental movement,
    and environmental legislation
  • 1985 to today public involvement, conflict,
    disagreement, and litigation

Shifting Resource Management
  • The relationship between natural resource
    management and society today has changed from
    what it was in the past
  • No immunity from social values, economics or
    political concerns
  • Scientific expert-based management is not an
    island by itself, or all that is needed
  • Operating independent of the above reality is a
    problem and not possible

  • Democracy - our form of Government is built on a
    system of checks and balances
  • Resource management falls within this system
  • We are not free to do what we alone (as resource
    managers) might believe is best or right we
    cant operate outside of this system
  • Fish dont vote, osprey dont attend public
    meetings, and deer dont pay taxes people do

Management Reality
  • Natural resources and people are intertwined, and
    can not be separated
  • Solutions and decisions now require human
    dimensions guidance and input
  • Result for resource managers/professionals
    operating under traditional model of management?
  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Confusion
  • Why?

Traditional Training and Trained Incapacities
  • Our resource managers have traditionally been
    trained in the natural sciences
  • They are very capable in the natural sciences
  • They are just not trained in the human
    dimensions (a trained incapacity)
  • We all have trained incapacities know your limits

Resource Management for the Future
  • Natural sciences tend to describe what is in
    resource management it is descriptive
  • Social sciences provides what should be, or
    why, and opinions do vary
  • Real Issue? What ecosystem do you want, at what
    cost, and with what trade-offs
  • A different approach is called for

Conceptual Model forResource Management
Social System
Political System
Economic System
Natural/Env. System
After Kennedy and Thomas, 1995
Resource Management Systems
  • Social System
  • Beliefs
  • Norms
  • Customs
  • Traditions
  • Attitudes
  • Motivations
  • Preferences
  • Expectations
  • Political System
  • Legislative branch
  • Executive branch
  • Judicial branch
  • Policy
  • NGOs
  • Laws
  • Constitution
  • Lobbying

Resource Management Systems
  • Economic System
  • Capital
  • Labor
  • Allocation of financial resources and land
  • Expenditures
  • Economic impacts
  • Employment
  • Budgets
  • Non-market values
  • Natural/Env. System
  • Ecology
  • Biology
  • Wildlife
  • Fisheries
  • Limnology
  • Mammology
  • ologies (the stuff we love)
  • Management agencies and staff

Conceptual Model forResource Management
Social System
Political System
Economic System
Human Dimensions
Natural/Env. System
Biophysical Dimensions
After Kennedy and Thomas, 1995
Interdisciplinary Management
  • Resource management is interdisciplinary
  • No single system is dominant at all times
  • The systems react to each other over time
  • The interactions do not stop at some end point
  • Every action in one system generates a reaction
    elsewhere in another system

What Drives Resource Management?
  • The social system drives resource management
  • Natural resource values originate or are endorsed
    in the social system
  • These values are expressed to natural resource
    managers (and the rest of society) through the
    economic, social and political systems
  • No pre-ordained values exist to guide us to some
    pre-ordained correct ecological condition

Sources of our Values
  • Typically through our interaction with the
    natural environment
  • They are devices of our minds
  • Shaped by our culture and society
  • Can range from biocentric to anthropocentric
  • Intrinsic to extrinsic worth is attached
  • Held values vs. assigned values

Conflicting Values?
  • Held values vs. assigned values
  • Held values are intrinsic in nature we value it
    for itself
  • Sunset, bald eagle, day of fishing, wildlife
    observation, existence or bequest value
  • Assigned values are extrinsic in nature we can
    and do value something in an economic sense
  • Timber for housing, water for irrigation or
    hydropower, land for development, etc.

Conflicting Values?
  • Do held values and assigned values concerning the
    same resource sometimes come into conflict?
  • All the time
  • These values conflict, and get expressed via the
    social, economic and political systems
  • And the resource manager must live with and
    respond to the conflict

Two Case Studies
  • Quabbin controlled deer hunt
  • A natural resource initiated problem
  • Question 1 no trapping in Massachusetts
  • A social value initiated problem

Quabbin Controlled Deer Hunt
  • The Quabbin is a reservoir
  • About 25 miles long
  • About 3 5 miles wide
  • Holds 412 Billion gallons when full
  • Built in 1930s
  • Ringed by thousands of acres of forested land
  • A beautiful natural area (though man made)

Purpose and Activities at Quabbin
  • Primary purpose is drinking water supply for
  • Management focus is on that purpose
  • Little other use is allowed
  • Limited shore and boat fishing
  • No other boating
  • No camping, skiing, snowmobiling
  • And, no hunting

Problem Deer Over-Population
  • It was a natural resource problem
  • No control on deer population existed for 50
  • No predators, no huntingunchecked growth
  • Over-browsing of young trees became a problem
  • Quabbin watershed was becoming a carpet

A Threatened Water Supply
  • Management requires an uneven age stand of timber
  • The forest was losing that characteristic
  • Forest becoming susceptible to damage
  • This is an unacceptable threat to water quality
  • All due to too many deer

A Simple Solution(?)
  • Thin the deer herd
  • Question became how
  • Numerous options existed
  • Only one proved viable
  • Mostly due to social factors
  • Solution probably not managements first choice

Management Options
  • Wolf reintroduction
  • Birth control
  • Fencing
  • Sharpshooters
  • Recreational hunt
  • Controlled hunt
  • Do nothing nature will resolve the issue

Social System
Political System
Economic System
Natural/Env. System
Controlled Hunt
  • Successfully implemented
  • Deer herd reduced
  • Regeneration of forest occurring
  • Conflict largely gone
  • Now in a maintenance mode
  • But

Declining Hunter Interest
  • No hunters, no controlled hunt, deer population
  • In 1991, about 10,000 applications for 1,000
  • In 2003, about 1,200 applications for 1,000 spots
  • How can hunter interest be increased?

Question 1
  • Massachusetts has a ballot referendum
  • True democracy at work?
  • Or, tyranny of the majority over the minority?
  • Question 1 proposed to ban use of leg hold traps
    in Massachusetts
  • It passed in 1996

The Problem
  • There was no natural resource problem
  • It was a social problem
  • Some people dont like trapping, especially some
    traps (animal welfare groups)
  • Cruel and inhumane
  • They sought to revise trapping regulations
  • Approached MassWildlife on issue

Initial Discussions
  • Very brief
  • Animal welfare groups told no they dont pay,
    trappers do, plus trapping controls populations
  • Beaver
  • Coyote
  • Lack of trapping would have significant and
    unfortunate consequences
  • Animal welfare groups left meetings unhappy

To the Ballot
  • Animal welfare groups obtained necessary
  • Referendum placed on ballot
  • Media campaign ensued
  • Animal welfare message based on emotions pet in
    traps, steel jawed traps holding an animal (trap
    outlawed in 1970s)
  • MassWildlife message based on biological facts,
    and we are the experts, educate the public,
    leave us alone

The Vote
  • Referendum was on ballot during a general
  • Referendum passed 2 1 clear and obvious public
  • Then, the consequences, as promised by the
    experts, came to pass

The Consequences
  • Flooded yards
  • Flooded septic systems
  • Contaminated wells
  • Flooded roads
  • Coyotes and pets
  • Also, growing bear population
  • Interagency conflicts
  • Response of MassWildlife?

Social System
Political System
Economic System
Natural/Env. System
(No Transcript)
Human Dimensions and Coastal Restoration
  • Why incorporate human dimensions into coastal
  • To answer the big questions--
  • Why is coastal restoration important?
  • Who cares about coastal restoration?

Monitoring the Human Dimensions Aspects of
Coastal Restoration
  • Estuary Restoration Act of 2000
  • Authorizes funding for coastal habitat
    restoration projects
  • Overall goal of one million acres by 2010
  • Requires project monitoring plans be developed
    and implemented
  • NOAA is charged with establishing guidance for
    the development of these plans

Monitoring the Human Dimensions Aspects of
Coastal Restoration
  • Much of the restoration monitoring will focus on
    biological and ecological aspects
  • An absolute necessity
  • But, monitoring of the human dimensions aspects
    is also a necessity
  • What are the benefits (costs) of coastal
    restoration, and who are the recipients of these
    benefits (costs)
  • i.e., why is it important, and who cares

Recent Use of Human Dimensions in Coastal
Restoration Projects
  • Few restoration programs integrate human
    dimensions in restoration monitoring
  • Few have implemented full-scale human dimensions
  • Some restoration plans are developed in an
    institutional setting that requires human
    dimensions input, but this does not extend to the
    monitoring stage

Why Not?
  • Lack of institutional expertise or capacity to
    conduct human dimensions monitoring
  • No agreed on set of human dimensions metrics
    appropriate for evaluating restoration success
  • Inadequate understanding of research methods
    useful in collecting human dimensions information
  • Perhaps a lack of recognition of the importance
    or value of human dimensions information

The Workshop
  • Human Dimensions Aspects of Coastal Restoration
  • Held April, 2004
  • Workshop goals
  • Identify appropriate and reasonable human
    dimensions goals for various coastal restoration
  • Identify sets of appropriate measurable
    objectives useful in determining the extent to
    which the goals are being achieved
  • Identify any existing data, or holes in the data
  • Identify appropriate research methods for
    collecting human dimensions data

Results Goals and Benefits of Coastal
  • Increase number of recreational opportunities
  • Increase level of recreation activity
  • Increase quality of recreation opportunities
  • Enhance community involvement
  • Improve tourism
  • Reduce property damage
  • Enhance property value
  • Enhance access to coastal resources
  • Improve general market activity
  • Enhance educational opportunities
  • Enhance non-market values
  • Protect historic/cultural values
  • Enhance transportation
  • Protect/improve human health
  • Improve aesthetic values
  • Improve commercial fishing

Results Objectives/Metrics for Measuring
Restoration Success
  • Number of public access points
  • Number of private access points
  • Functional service capacity
  • Recreation visitor days
  • Economic expenditures
  • Employment impacts
  • Income level
  • Satisfaction level
  • Species abundance/diversity
  • Number of boat slips
  • Presence in Community Master Plan
  • Attendance at town meetings
  • Town use of restored area
  • Town portion of cost sharing
  • Flood zone map
  • Number of losses
  • Disaster relief costs
  • Insurance losses
  • Appraised property value
  • Market value
  • Trail miles
  • Number of interpretive centers
  • Number of research projects
  • Number of students trained

Objectives (cont.)
  • School field trips
  • Association with museums
  • Existence value
  • Bequest value
  • Historic designation
  • Tribal designation
  • Number of fish advisories
  • Number of beach closures
  • Reduction in water-born illness
  • Non-consumptive recreation use
  • Watchable fish and wildlife counts
  • Enhanced viewscape
  • Acres of open space
  • Minimized noise/light pollution
  • Maximize critical corridors
  • Maintain comparable maritime culture
  • Increase value of harvest
  • Cultural/historical heritage

  • Goals should be developed and stated as part of
    the initial plan, not just part of monitoring
  • Scale of project can be an issue
  • Small projects vs. large projects
  • Costs of monitoring plan relative to overall cost
  • Availability of expertise
  • Regional/system-wide monitoring effort as
  • But, who pays or organizes?

  • Availability of existing data
  • Some data exists
  • Often at state or federal level
  • Often not available at local level
  • Sample size
  • Not adequate for local use
  • A scale issue, with small projects impacted the

  • Frequency/timeliness of existing data
  • When was data last collected?
  • We have already established the fact that human
    dimensions data is not routinely collected
  • Is data collected regularly, or was it a one-time
  • Typically one-time
  • Is data from a longitudinal design, allowing
    direct comparisons over time
  • Typically cross-sectional

  • Research methods
  • If data do not exist, new data must be collected
  • Lack of internal expertise or experience
  • Unable, in general, to conduct necessary research
  • Dont know the methods
  • Dont know the advantages/disadvantages of each
  • Are not familiar with the literature
  • Are not aware of the contrasting paradigms
    associated with different social science

Next Steps
  • Continue to integrate human dimensions into
    coastal restoration efforts
  • Correct incorrect organizational preconceptions
    about human dimensions
  • Develop internal human dimension expertise and
  • Elevate relative importance of human dimensions
  • Properly fund and integrate human dimensions into
    project development

Human Dimensions Workshop Contributions
  • We do know how to do this
  • We are not starting from scratch
  • We need to transfer and integrate this knowledge
    into restoration planning and monitoring

The Charge
  • We will be providing a guidance tool for
    restoration monitoring
  • The charge is to
  • incorporate human dimensions in project planning
  • develop and implement the human dimensions tools