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Landscape Restoration: Wicked Stuff
Jessica Clement, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
There is ample evidence in the social psychological literature of the importance of wildlife and wildlife issues to the American and Western public (Clement and Cheng 2010, Teel and Manfredo 2009). The importance of wildlife is an overriding factor in many policy decisions, e.g. the Wyoming Range Legacy Act of 2007 or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge discourse. The idea of “restoring” a landscape or watershed can mean many things to many people but it is an important avenue to combine multiple stakeholders in addressing multiple issues in a cohesive manner over a large landscape. This is a tall order – a “wicked”, complex, interconnected proposition. Collaborative learning, as most of us know, is a public process for science and information transference and absorption. Creating methods where science and information can be heard, understood and trusted can lead to sustainable collaborative decision making processes for large landscape scale efforts. What do we need for collaborative learning to work? And what does this mean for scientists and agency professionals? I will share some experiences from my work with the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute and finish with some policy thoughts.