Federal agencies, scientists, and others are increasingly calling for ecosystem management as a new approach to resource management. This approach represents a change in philosophy for resource management that will require changes in how we view nature, science and politics. This paper draws upon critical theory to examine this shift in philosophy. The paper focuses on the inﬂuence of Enlightenment thought on U.S. Western resource policy and examines four dimensions including the relationship between humans and nature; the concept of rationality; the nature of science; and social relations among humans. Alternative theoretical principles suggested by ecosystem management are discussed. Examples of natural resource management projects that reﬂect ecosystem management in practice are also presented.
Keywords: natural resource policy, political theory, ecosystem management, U.S. west land management, critical theory, enlightenment thought
How to Cite:
Wallace, M. G. & Cortner, H. J. & Moote, M. A. & Burke, S., (1996) “Moving Toward Ecosystem Management: Examining a Change in Philosophy for Resource Management”, Journal of Political Ecology 3(1), 1-36. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v3i1.20457