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People and watersheds: The case of the totem fish of the North PacificAuthor(s): Gus diZerega
Source: In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 53-58
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (270 B)
DescriptionEmergent processes dominate modern social orders as well as natural ones. Research in the 1920s concluded that complexity and importance of local knowledge made it impossible to centrally plan complex economies. Subsequent experience in the Soviet Union and elsewhere confirmed these arguments. Further, organizations charged with performing tasks they could not accomplish redefined their tasks in terms that were good for them. The same pattern of organizational impossibility and redefining of tasks appears in studies of salmon hatcheries and salmon farms: attempts to impose centralized control on complex natural orders. The conclusion is that the argument against central economic planning is a special case of the impossibility of successfully substituting deliberate control for complex emergent phenomena, including ecosystems.
Modernity requires different institutions to successfully engage with wild nature. Institutions of care rooted in civil society such as watershed restoration groups and democratic trusts are most able to adapt the complex needs of human societies and natural orders in ways that preserve the well-being of both. In the absence of welldeveloped institutions of this sort, modernity is unsustainable.
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CitationdiZerega, Gus. 2007. People and watersheds: The case of the totem fish of the North Pacific. In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 53-58
Keywordswilderness, biodiversity, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values
- Moving beyond the romantic biases in natural areas recreation
- Thinking big: linking rivers to landscapes
- Wilderness experiences as sanctuary and refuge from society
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