Adaptive management is widely applied to natural resources management (Holling 1973; Walters and Holling 1990). Adaptive management can be generally defined as an iterative decision-making process that incorporates formulation of management objectives, actions designed to address these objectives, monitoring of results, and repeated adaptation of management until desired results are achieved (Brown and MacLeod 1996; Savory and Butterfield 1999). However, adaptive management is often criticized because very few projects ever complete more than one cycle, resulting in little adaptation and little knowledge gain (Lee 1999; Walters 2007). One significant criticism is that adaptive management is often used as a justification for undertaking actions with uncertain outcomes or as a surrogate for the development of specific, measurable indicators and monitoring programs (Lee 1999; Ruhl 2007).
Additional publication details
A holistic strategy for adaptive land management
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Soil and Water Conservation Society
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Southwest Biological Science Center