Transforming the Means and Ends of Natural Resource Management

This article, from the North Carolina Law Review, addresses limitations of existing regulatory systems to manage the effects of climate change on natural resources in the United States. The Article explores the implications of continuing to rely on conventionally static and fragmented decision making, passive management, and historical preservation when global climatic shifts are widely expected to lead to rapid changes in ecological systems that are unforeseen, novel, and potentially detrimental to ecological diversity and function. The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, National Park Service Organic Act,  and Wilderness Act are all discussed in terms of their limitations under climate change.

The first part of the article explores how existing regulatory institutions are not equipped to foster effective natural resource adaptation because they are not designed to cultivate systematic learning and manage uncertainty. The second part addresses the static view of nature in particular substantive goals of natural resources law.  Part three discusses the link between these two static visions, how they are mutually reinforcing, and how the solutions to these issues are connected as well. Part four explains the need to change both the means and the ends of natural resources law to better manage change and uncertainty as well as inform and encourage public deliberation on natural resource decisions.

Publication Date: 2011

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Alejandro E. Camacho

Related Organizations:

  • North Carolina Law Review


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Legal Analysis

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