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    Implementation of ecosystem management projects has created a demand for socioeconomic assessments to predict or evaluate the impacts of ecosystem policies. Social scientists for these assessments face challenges that, although not unique to such projects, are more likely to arise than in smaller scale ones. This article summarizes lessons from our experiences with five socioeconomic assessments associated with ecosystem management projects in the Western United States. Progress has been made toward developing appropriate methods to assess socioeconomic conditions at the community level and integrating those data into regional analyses. However, we still lack robust theoretical constructs that link socioeconomic conditions to changes in management policies. Engaging community members, land managers, and policymakers facilitates research and improves the quality of findings. However, inadequate funding and the lack of long-term commitment on the part of natural resource agencies remain key obstacles to integrating socioeconomic assessments into adaptive management efforts.

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    McLain, Rebecca J.; Donoghue, Ellen M.; Kusel, Jonathan; Buttolph, Lita; Charnley, Susan. 2008. Multiscale socioeconomic assessment across large ecosystems: lessons from practice. Society and Natural Resources. 21(8): 719-728


    Community assessment, ecosystem management, socioeconomic assessment, socioeconomic monitoring

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