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Keeping Faith with NatureEcosystems, Democracy, and America's Public Lands$
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Robert Keiter

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300092738

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300092738.001.0001

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Ecology Triumphant?

Ecology Triumphant?

Spotted Owls and Ecosystem Management

(p.79) Four Ecology Triumphant?
Keeping Faith with Nature

Robert B. Keiter

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the spotted owls controversy and its impact on ecosystem management in the Pacific Northwest's ancient forests. As that controversy unfolded, the federal courts played a pivotal role in bringing ecosystem management principles into the public domain. By the early 1990s, finding themselves enjoined from selling any more timber, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were finally forced to address the needs of the region's forest-dependent species. The chapter finds that the spotted owl controversy pushed biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management into the mainstream public land policy debates. The Northwest Forest Plan restored a semblance of order to the region. Both the Forest Service and BLM moved to incorporate ecosystem management principles into their overall management agendas, giving biodiversity protection a prominent position on public lands.

Keywords:   spotted owls, ecosystem management, biodiversity, conservation, public lands

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