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Conclusions and Policy Implications

Conclusions and Policy Implications

(p.301) Conclusions and Policy Implications
Stitching the West Back Together
Thomas E. SheridanGary P. NabhanSusan Charnley
University of Chicago Press

Several principles to guide successful conservation and restoration of working landscapes arise from the case studies in this book. Long-term, dynamic partnerships that engage in collaboration rather than confrontation are key to achieving meaningful change in the management of western ranch lands and forests. Management activities must cross ownership boundaries and include both public and private lands—which are economically and ecologically interdependent—to successfully conserve large areas. Openness to adaptive management, innovation, and flexibility is needed among participating institutions and policies. Incorporating and even prioritizing local knowledge and workforces improves project outcomes. The most successful working landscapes produce a diversity of commodities and services, and likewise incorporate a variety of conservation approaches in their operations. Long-term commitments by individuals within partner agencies and organizations foster more sound management decisions and policies. Rural communities that create allies among urban and exurban communities are rewarded with greater clout in influencing management policy.

Keywords:   collaboration, dynamic partnerships, working landscapes, local knowledge, management decisions, public policy, ownership boundaries, adaptive management

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