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Ensuring Greater Yellowstone's Future

Ensuring Greater Yellowstone's Future: Choices for Leaders and Citizens

Susan G. Clark
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Ensuring Greater Yellowstone's Future
    Book Description:

    How can environmental problems be solved when they cross boundaries and involve diverse people? What kind of leadership and institutions will bring success? From experience in the greater Yellowstone region, Susan G. Clark looks at leadership and policy in managing natural resources. She assesses accomplishments toward sustainability over the past forty years.

    Focusing on The Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, a federal group of heads of national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges, Clark identifies fundamental leadership tasks needed, explains what changes in skill will be required, and makes many practical recommendations for every leader, citizen, and group involved with large-scale conservation anywhere worldwide.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-14503-8
    Subjects: Environmental Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. 1 Leaders and Policy in a Contested Landscape
    (pp. 1-28)

    Yellowstone is the world’s first and one of its greatest national parks. Its name comes from the color of the rock walls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, a deep gorge at the heart of the park. The name is also used to refer to the mountainous, forested region surrounding the park, called the greater Yellowstone area or ecosystem. Yellowstone has also become—in addition to a place, a park, and a region—an idea about nature and our relationship to it, as well as an ethic, calling to mind our responsibility for our world. In this book...

  5. 2 Challenges Facing Greater Yellowstone
    (pp. 29-65)

    Greater Yellowstone faces many resource management challenges, some acute, some chronic. Some are ordinary and conventional, and some have to do with the less visible governance and constitutive dynamics, a mix that makes the leadership task especially difficult. It is a mistake to treat Yellowstone’s challenges as only one set of ordinary problems, while overlooking or misconstruing the social interactions that lie at the heart of these problems. Because human process determines what happens to greater Yellowstone and its resources, leaders need a finely attuned functional understanding of the context within which problems and solutions take place—the decision-making process,...

  6. 3 Leaders—Problem Solving
    (pp. 66-100)

    There are many leaders in greater Yellowstone, but few have as much influence over management policy as the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, composed as it is of the leaders of the national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges in the arena. Because of its visibility, mandate, and resources, this organization’s behavior speaks directly to the status of leadership in government throughout the region. But are these leaders explicitly skilled in integrated problem solving, do they have the skills that would be most effective in helping the region transition toward sustainability?¹ Problem solving has been well studied,² and it is known that...

  7. 4 Leaders—Cooperation and Demonstrations
    (pp. 101-138)

    In addition to problem solving, leadership requires cooperation, which includes joint decision making, resource sharing, personal relations, communication, and reciprocity.¹ By definition and by necessity, cooperation is at the heart of any successful ecosystem/transboundary effort. It is certainly required for transitioning toward sustainability, a task that is large, complex, and dependent on joint action. Cooperation on this task requires both basic and high-level coordination and integration. Finally, leaders must also demonstrate to people what they want to achieve across the region by creating actual, on-the-ground, working examples of the processes, structures, and values they hope to cultivate.² It is vital...

  8. 5 Overall Assessment—Leaders, Bureaucracy, and Context
    (pp. 139-171)

    An assessment of leaders and the bureaucracies and contexts within which they operate might help explain the patterns evident in the behavior and activities of the GYCC and other leaders in the region. Looking at these three factors—leaders, bureaucracy, and context—will point out limitations in the present modus operandi of leaders (under their ruling paradigms) and in the way that the situation (the arena and institutions) has been organized to detect and resolve problems. In this chapter I go to the heart of the greater Yellowstone debate about how we will use the region and its resources and...

  9. 6 Improving Leadership
    (pp. 172-188)

    A leader’s job is to be as contextual as possible in order to be effective in addressing the suite of ordinary, governance, and constitutive challenges that faces society. This is especially important in large-scale arenas like greater Yellowstone, which also has highly symbolic meanings for people around the world, because these three interactive levels of problems can have major consequences. But, says policy scholar Yehezkel Dror, leaders and society are too often unprepared to address these challenges, and the mechanisms of governance are in too many cases obsolete.¹ In these situations, dilemmas abound, opportunities to make gains go unappreciated, and...

  10. 7 Improving Management Policy
    (pp. 189-208)

    Policies that are developed for managing natural resources everywhere are based on what people value and the capacity of their organizations to meet those value demands. In other words, policy decisions are part of a human social process, which, in turn, relates to the decisionmaking process and institutional behavior. As a result, among the foci for making improvements should be the social and decision processes. The same social process that creates problems must be used to solve them. According to political scientist Charles Lindblom, “A fundamental, lasting, long-term requirement for good problem solving is . . . to create opportunities...

  11. 8 Transitioning Toward Sustainability
    (pp. 209-222)

    It is clear that greater Yellowstone’s natural resource challenges involve social values, people interacting, and decision making. Addressing the interrelated challenges—ordinary, governance, and constitutive—demands healthy and functioning institutions, the value-producing and-enjoying structures and processes in our society and skilled, knowledgeable leaders. To move toward a sustainable society and environment, both leaders and the public must come to understand better the value dynamics behind the many conflicts in the region over resources. The conflicts really reflect differences in personal and group perspectives and policies that transcend the ability of scientific management and bureaucratic agencies to understand fully, much less...

  12. Appendix 1 Official Goals of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee
    (pp. 223-227)
  13. Appendix 2 Agenda Topics Listed for Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee Meetings from 1995 to 2004
    (pp. 228-230)
  14. Appendix 3 Projects and Costs Funded by the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, 2000 through 2004 (data from GYCC annual reports)
    (pp. 231-240)
  15. Appendix 4 Projects Funded by the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee in 2001
    (pp. 241-250)
  16. Appendix 5 The Tasks of Problem Solving
    (pp. 251-254)
  17. Notes
    (pp. 255-292)
  18. Index
    (pp. 293-303)