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Adapting Adaptive Management to a Cultural Understanding of Land Use Conflicts

Skogen, Ketil
Society & natural resources 2003 v.16 no.5 pp. 435-450
Lynx, biologists, carnivores, land use, managers, men, models, scientists, social barriers, stakeholders, Norway
Adaptive management models are designed to include a variety of stakeholders, but they may still exclude significant groups. Drawing on two Norwegian studies of conflicts over large carnivores, one such group is identified as working-class men with strong ties to local hunting and "outdoorsman" culture. For them, the carnivore controversies are part of a conflict between dominant and subordinate cultural forms and bodies of knowledge. Representing dominant culture and hegemonic knowledge, managers and scientists have a hard time establishing rapport with anticarnivore hardliners. It is suggested that joint practical work may diminish some cultural barriers, and a project where this has been crucial is described. The lynx registration program in southeastern Norway brings together biologists, managers, and local hunters in practical field work in order to make population estimates. Although motivated by a demand for "exact numbers," this project apparently has succeeded in narrowing some cultural gaps as well.