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Grand Challenges for Resilience-Based Management of Rangelands
- Bestelmeyer, Brandon T., Briske, David D.
- Rangeland ecology & management 2012 v.65 no.6 pp. 654
- collaborative management, ecosystem management, ecosystem services, ecosystems, learning, managers, models, range management, rangelands, researchers, society, support systems
- The social and ecological contexts for rangeland management are changing rapidly, prompting a reevaluation of science, management, and their relationship. We argue that progression from steady-state management to ecosystem management has served the rangeland profession well, but that further development toward resilience-based management is required to ensure that ecosystem services are sustained in an era of rapid change. Resilience-based management embraces the inevitability of change and emphasizes that management should seek to guide change to benefit society. The objectives of this forum are to: 1) justify the need for adopting resilience-based management, 2) identify the challenges that will be encountered in its development and implementation, and 3) highlight approaches to overcoming these challenges. Five grand challenges confronting the adoption of resilience-based management, based upon the insights of 56 rangeland researchers who have contributed to this special issue, were identified as: 1) development of knowledge systems to support resilience-based management, 2) improvement of ecological models supporting science and management, 3) protocols to assess and manage tradeoffs among ecosystem services, 4) use of social-ecological system models to integrate diverse knowledge sources, and 5) reorganization of institutions to support resilience-based management. Resolving the challenges presented here will require the creation of stronger partnerships between ecosystem managers, science organizations, management agencies, and policymakers at local, regional, and national scales. A realistic near-term goal for achieving such partnerships is to initiate and support collaborative landscape projects. The creation of multiscaled social learning institutions linked to evolving knowledge systems may be the best approach to guide adaptation and transformation in rangelands in the coming century.