Integrating "Human Habitat" Requirements into Ecosystem Management Strategies: A Case Study
Ecosystem management strategies are said to redirect resource management efforts away from producing utilitarian outputs and toward maintaining desired conditions on the land. This shift in emphasis is intended to preserve the ecological integrity of managed landscapes by sustaining biophysical systems. It is equally crucial that management agencies maintain socially acceptable (i.e., politically sustainable) landscapes, as the former goal cannot be achieved without the latter. To achieve both goals simultaneously, social and ecological management objectives must be integrated. A barrier to integration has been the lack of a common language for the social and biological sciences. The concept "habitat" describes both social and biophysical aspects of ecosystems. The habitat concept can be applied to human uses of natural areas. Based on research conducted in western Oregon forests, a prototype "habitat suitability index" is proposed for each of three common forest uses: hiking, camping, and scenic viewing.
Brunson, M.W. 1996. Integrating "human habitat" requirements into ecosystem management strategies: a case study. Natural Areas Journal 16(2):100-107.