Skip to Main Content
Assumptions about Ecological Scale and Nature Knowing Best Hiding in Environmental DecisionsAuthor(s): R. Bruce Hull; David P. Robertson; David Richert; Erin Seekamp; Gregory J. Buhyoff
Source: Conservation Ecology 6(2):12
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: View PDF (173.03 KB)
DescriptionAssumptions about nature are embedded in people's preferences for environmental policy and management. The people we interviewed justified preservationist policies using four assumptions about nature knowing best: nature is balanced, evolution is progressive, technology is suspect, and the Creation is perfect. They justified interventionist policies using three assumptions about nature: it is dynamic, inefficient, and robust. Unstated assumptions about temporal, spatial, and organizational scales further confuse discussions about nature. These findings confirm and extend findings from previous research. Data for our study were derived from interviews with people actively involved in negotiating the fate of forest ecosystems in southwest Virginia: landowners, forest advisors, scientists, state and federal foresters, loggers, and leaders in non-governmental environmental organizations. We argue that differing assumptions about nature constrain people's vision of what environmental conditions can and should exist, thereby constraining the future that can be negotiated. We recommend promoting ecological literacy and a biocultural approach to ecological science.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationHull, R. Bruce; Robertson, David P.; Richert, David; Seekamp, Erin; Buhyoff, Gregory J. 2002. Assumptions about Ecological Scale and Nature Knowing Best Hiding in Environmental Decisions. Conservation Ecology 6(2):12
- Understandings of Environmental Quality: Ambiguities and Values Held by Environmental Professionals
- The language of nature matters: we need a more public ecology
- Adjusting policy to institutional, cultural and biophysical context conditions: The case of conservation banking in California
XML: View XML