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    Author(s): Robert C. Szaro; Charles E. Peterson
    Date: 2004
    Source: Forest Snow and Landscape Research. 78(1/2): 9-20
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (331 KB)


    The sale, scope, and complexity of natural resource and environmental issues have dramatically increased, yet the urgency to solve these issues often requires immediate information that spans disciplinary boundaries, synthesizes material from a variety of sources, draws inferences, and identifies levels of confidence. Although science information and knowledge are only one consideration in natural resource decisions, credible science information is increasingly necessary to gain public support and acceptance. But what are the appropriate roles for science and scientists versus managers and policymakers in natural resource decisions? Scientists can provide managers and policymakers with the underlying information needed for making reasoned decisions. The prerequisites for science-based decision making are understanding and appreciating what science can and cannot offer, fulfillment of the proper roles for the different participants, and evaluation of how science information is used in a decision, to be science based, a decision must be made with the full consideration and correct interpretation of all relevant science information, and the scientific understanding must be revealed to all interested parties. Based on experience from the Pacific Northwest, a conceptual framework is presented that allows the development of research problems and components while facilitating communication among people interested in a variety of values.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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.


    Szaro, Robert C.; Peterson, Charles E. 2004. Evolving approaches toward science based forest management. Forest Snow and Landscape Research. 78(1/2): 9-20


    decision making, science based resource management, Pacific Northwest examples

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