Recent emphasis on a holistic view of natural systems and their management is associated with a growing appreciation of the role of human values in these systems. In the past, resource management has been perceived as a dichotomy between extraction (harvest) and nonconsumptive use, but this appears to be an oversimplified view of natural-cultural systems. The recreational fishery for Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri) in Yellowstone National Park is an example of the effects of management on a natural-cultural system. Although angler harvest has been drastically reduced or prohibited, the recreational value of Yellowstone cutthroat trout estimated by angling factors (such as landing rate or size) ranks above that of all other sport species in Yellowstone National Park. To maintain an indigenous fishery resource of this quality with hatchery propagation is not economically or technically feasible. Nonconsumptive uses of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout including fish-watching and intangible values, such as existence demand, provide additional support for protection of wild Yellowstone cutthroat trout populations. A management strategy that reduces resource extraction has provided a means to sustain a quality recreational fishery while enhancing values associated with the protection of natural systems.
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Values associated with management of Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park