Science, expertise and the public: the politics of ecosystem management in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem

Science, expertise and the public: the politics of ecosystem management in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem

Landscape and Urban Planning 40 Ž1998. 211–219 Science, expertise and the public: the politics of ecosystem management in the Greater Yellowstone eco...

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Landscape and Urban Planning 40 Ž1998. 211–219

Science, expertise and the public: the politics of ecosystem management in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem John Freemuth a


, R. McGreggor Cawley


Department of Political Sciencer MPA Program, Boise State UniÕersity, 1910 UniÕersity DriÕe, Boise, ID 83725, USA b Department of Political Science, UniÕersity of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA

Abstract Federal land bureaus are developing a new approach to the management of large areas of public lands called ecosystem management. That approach remains fraught with many conceptual and implementation difficulties. One of the most important of the those difficulties concerns the relationship of scientificrprofessional modes of decision making with democratic decision processes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the first large scale attempt to implement ecosystem management in the Greater Yellowstone area and the difficulties that effort had in reconciling these modes of decision making. The paper concludes with suggestions as to how these two methods of resource decision making might be brought closer together. q 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. Keywords: Science; Democracy; Ecosystem management; Natural resource policy; Yellowstone

1. Introduction Science and expertise have often occupied a special place in the administration of the public lands of the United States. The relationship between science, natural resource professions and natural resource experts has been described by historian Samuel Hays as creating a ‘gospel of efficiency’ that came to dominate much of public land policy and administration ŽHays, 1975.. Thus, land managers, trained in various natural resource disciplines such as forestry and range management, were viewed as the proper administrators of the public lands of the United


Corresponding author. Tel.: q1-208-385-3931; fax: q1-208385-4370; e-mail: [email protected]

States. The public came to be viewed as somewhat troublesome rather than as a contributor to any dialogue over public land management controversies ŽCulhane, 1981; Tipple and Wellman, 1991.. Instead, experts were viewed as ‘knowing best’ how to manage the large federal estate. Perhaps the best example of expert-centered public land management is the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service ŽUSDA-FS.. Considered by scholars to be the ‘superstar’ of land management agencies, the agency has been dominated by university trained foresters who often managed the national forests of the US with minimal input from the public ŽClarke and McCool, 1985; Tipple and Wellman, 1991.. Today, the emergence of a new approach for public land management demands a renewed look at the role of science and expertise.

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2. The rise of ecosystem management Ecosystem management is one of the most intriguing developments in contemporary natural resource policy. On the one hand, it has the potential for ushering in a new era of management which rivals the changes brought about by the conservation movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. On the other hand, however, it has yet to gain the wide public acceptance which the key ideas of that earlier movement were able to garner. This paper seeks to offer an explanation as to why this may be so. Ecosystem management is a reaction to perceived shortcomings in federal land management. Current federal land boundaries are viewed as inadequate for dealing with the complexities of interrelated natural resources. There is, however, no consensus as yet on the definition of ecosystem management; this lack of a consensus definition has in fact led to growing criticism of the concept ŽEnvironmental Policy Alert, 1995.. Ecosystem management may have received the most attention in the area in and around Yellowstone National Park. ŽCawley and Freemuth, 1993; Lichtman and Clark, 1994.. Yellowstone National Park, and the area around it, has always been a touchstone for natural resource policy, both at home and abroad. It is, of course, the world’s first national park, established in 1872. The forests around Yellowstone became the first national forests of the US when they were established in 1891. Both land designations came before the establishment of the USDA-FS and the United States Department of Interior’s National Park Service ŽUSDI-NPS. the two federal agencies in charge of parks and forests. In 1972, the United Nations ŽUNESCO. gave World Biosphere Reserve Status to Yellowstone, and in 1978, the park received World Heritage status from the same body. These designations recognize outstanding examples of important biological and cultural resources. Yellowstone’s original designation was based in part on an encounter with a world that was new, startling and fascinating. With the establishment of the USDI-NPS in 1916, came the ‘mission’ for the new parks bureau. According to the USDI-NPS ‘Organic Act,’ national parks were to be managed so as to insure that they remained ‘‘unimpaired for the

enjoyment of future generations’’ ŽEverhart, 1983.. In short, parks became recreational resources to be used by men and women, within context of natural resource preservation. In contrast, the forests surrounding Yellowstone fell under a different management regime. It is in these areas that the utilitarian view of natural resources is most clearly played out. These are the well-known ‘multiple-use’ lands, where a whole set of activities are allowed, ranging from timber harvesting and mining, to grazing and recreation. Interestingly, the first forest reserve in the United States was the Yellowstone Park Forest Reservation, also in this area. Now, consider for a moment the area in and around Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone resembles a square. The national park is surrounded primarily by national forests. The perceived problem for ecosystem advocates is that the boundaries between the parks and forests don’t work well. For example, grizzly bears use land in both the parks ŽGrand Teton is the other. and the forests. Or to use another example, what happens on national forest land Žtimber harvesting, mineral leasing. can affect resource in the national parks, or protected resources such as the bear on the national forests. Added to this are agency missions that are perceived to be out of sync with each other and the resources that many people feel should be protected in the area. There has thus arisen many calls to manage areas such as those around and in Yellowstone in a more coordinated manner. Environmental activists, and some scientists, have called for the entire area to be managed as an ‘ecosystem’, naming it the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The USDI-NPS and USDAFS also joined the ecosystem management movement by beginning a search for more coordinated management of what they termed the Greater Yellowstone Area. 3. Setting the context: the vision document In 1986, the USDI-NPS and USDA-FS formalized their efforts to achieve a more coordinated management approach in the Yellowstone area through a ‘Memorandum of Understanding.’ One outcome of this agreement was the 1990 document, Vision for the Future: A Framework for Coordina-

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tion in the Greater Yellowstone Area Ždraft.. The draft Vision document proposed three primary goals for future management of the Greater Yellowstone Area on lands under either USDA-FS or USDI-NPS administration: Ž1. conserve the sense of naturalness and maintain ecosystem integrity; Ž2. encourage opportunities that are biologically and economically sustainable; and Ž3. improve coordination. It then went on to identify numerous sub-goals and ‘coordinating criteria’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990.. Implementation of this strategy offered promise that the ‘‘Greater Yellowstone Area can serve many people well at the same time that its fundamental values are adequately protected’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 3-1.. Nevertheless, the document also recognized that ‘‘there will be disputes and controversies over wthe proposedx management direction’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 3-1.. Keiter Ž1989. suggests that the political climate of the Greater Yellowstone Area has been shaped by three forces. First, environmentalist pressures to save the ecosystem; second, fears of traditional multipleuse constituents that their use might be curtailed; and third, desires by the agencies themselves to assert better control over the management process. Traces of these forces are clearly evident in the document. For example, the terms Greater Yellowstone Area and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem were used interchangeably throughout the discussion. Moreover, the overall approach proposed in the document was described as an attempt to ‘‘pioneer ecosystem management’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 4-2.. These were obvious concessions to the environmental community. Yet at the same time, the documents extended assurances to traditional multiple-users: ‘‘Opportunities for recreation and commodity development, including timber harvesting, grazing and mineral development, will be provided for on appropriate federal lands’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 3-1.. Finally, the attempt to define and clarify explicit management goals was certainly a step in the direction of reinforcing agency control over the management process. In short, the draft Vision document appeared to offer a rather sophisticated response to the political climate. Our contention, however, is that the document failed to recognize a fundamental tension in federal land administration and in consequence, it


exacerbated, rather than resolved, conflict. As a starting point, consider the term ecosystem. The draft Vision document defined ecosystem as: Living organisms together with their nonliving environment forming an interacting system inhabiting a defined area of interest. There is not an obvious boundary to separate an individual ecosystem from its surroundings. Scientists have used the term to refer to systems as small as an individual pond and as large as the planet ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. G-2.. Several administrative and management issues emerge here. First, and perhaps most obvious, the document created an administrative dilemma by prescribing a management regime for an area lacking boundaries based on scientific consensus. Indeed, at one point, the document admits ‘‘the actual boundaries of this area are the subject of ongoing discussion among many parties’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 1-1.. Second, the promise that the ‘‘USDA-FS and USDI-NPS will not abandon their separate and often quite distinct mandates’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 4-1., had a somewhat hollow ring to it. The single most intriguing aspect of the proposal was that the USDA-FS, at least in the Yellowstone region, was willing to abandon its traditional management regime in favor of an ecosystem regime. Herein lies a third issue. The broad, almost tautological, definition of ecosystem offered in the draft Vision document is certainly consistent with current scientific conclusions regarding the complex and interrelated structure of nature. Yet, as Keiter Ž1989. argues: ‘‘wSxcience itself cannot define a new ethic Žor management priorities. in an area like Greater Yellowstone. Science attaches no significance or value to the many human interests that figure prominently in policy judgments about the public lands’’. Žp. 1003.. Science strives to construct a picture of the physical world based on empirical observation. A management regime, in contrast, must remain continually attentive to the impact human values and interests have on allocating meanings to scientific observations. For example, scientific observation remains more or less content with the conclusion that a 16-oz


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container has 8 oz of fluid in it. From a management perspective, however, the crucial question may very well be whether the container is ‘half-full’ or ‘halfempty.’ It is this question which determines the appropriate course of action—whether or not more fluid is needed, as it were. The problem, of course, is that ‘half-fullrhalf-empty’ are value judgments derived from the interests of people. As such, they are open to negotiation at any given moment and over time, unless we assume that values and interests remain constant. Scientists, and managers who center decisions solely on science, do not have any special position in negotiations over value questions. There was a variant of the ‘half-fullrhalf-empty’ dilemma at work in the Yellowstone controversy. The two bureaus said: The Vision, therefore, does not define resource protection and resource use as being mutually exclusive. Instead it introduces principles and processes that will help ensure that no matter what the resource use—be it the recreational needs of an individual, protection of biological diversity for the greater good of human society, or timber harvest for national and international markets–ecosystem values are considered first in how the resource is used ŽUSDA-FS and USDI -NPS, 1990, p. 4-1.. From a scientific standpoint, this statement is essentially accurate, production science and ecology are potentially compatible. Nevertheless, as a statement of management priorities, it set the stage for confrontation, rather than compromise, because it appears to preclude the public negotiation required above. Once again, the broad definition of ecosystem, in combination with the suggestion that a ‘measure’ of naturalness was the ‘‘extent to which natural processes . . . are functioning without major disruptions by humans’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 3–9., created room for suspicions regarding the actual outcome of ecosystem management. Stated directly, this language could have been interpreted as a subtle Žperhaps even covert. call for excluding increasing portions of the Greater Yellowstone Area from traditional multiple-use activities. Whether or not such an interpretation was ‘accurate’ is ultimately beside the point. What is important is that this interpretation had Žand has. currency among

public land interests. Indeed, the Wyoming Legislature passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of the draft Vision document. Primary among the justifications for this action was the belief that the Vision document will create a de facto Yellowstone National Park management philosophy on adjacent forests, diminishing or totally excluding multiple use activities ŽHouse Joint Resolution, 1991, a16, Wyoming Legislature.. When placed in the context developed here, the Wyoming resolution can be understood as multiple use advocates protesting a potential shift to a management regime grounded in ecosystem management. Moreover, the Vision document is not the only source of apprehension for multiple use advocates. In the mid-1980s, a group of primarily natural resource professionals in the USDI-NPS formed the Yellowstone Park Preservation Council ŽYPPC. to counter what they believed to be a ‘pro-development’ bias in park management ŽFreemuth, 1989.. A related development is the recent creation of the Association of USDA-FS Employees for Environmental Ethics ŽAFSEEE. as a protest against a perceived over-emphasis on timber harvesting in National Forest Management ŽStiak, 1989; Ford, 1990.. The point here is that the YPPC and AFSEEE both represent outcroppings of ecosystem management within the management agencies. It is not difficult to understand, therefore, why multiple use advocates might view the Vision document as something more than an effort to balance ecology and production science. There is one final issue, relating to both the sciencermanagement concern and the character of the conflict over Yellowstone, which warrants attention. ‘‘What happens,’’ asks William Brown ŽBrown, 1987, p. 8., when park science is viewed as an end in itself rather than as a tool of park management? When significant numbers of scientific and lay people view certain parks primarily as scientific benchmarks, gene pools and relict environments of inestimable value to mankind in a trembling biosphere? Answering his own questions, Brown Ž1987. Žp. 8. continues: An extreme scenario might go like this: First, certain parks or segments thereof are designated ecological reserves. Second, scientific study, not enjoyment and

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use, becomes the controlling purpose in such reserves. Third, traditional park management is relieved in favor of a science management board. In short, an over zealous application of ecosystem management in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem might alter the traditional park management regime as well as forest management. The broader issue here centers on the public character of the federal lands and the agencies expressed desire to ‘‘satisfy the wishes of human society’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, p. 4-1.. By almost any definition, the Greater Yellowstone Area is an ecosystem worth protecting. Moreover, as the first national park and national forests in the US, which nonetheless have remained relatively unharmed, the Greater Yellowstone Area is an ideally suited site for experimentation with new management techniques. The question to be asked, however, is whether closing the area to use by people serves the public’s interest, or the interest of science? In a related vein, was the process initiated by the draft Vision document intended to solicit the public’s perspective on the future of the Greater Yellowstone Area, or rather, intended to convince the public that the management professionals’ view should determine the Greater Yellowstone Area’s future? As Barber Ž1984. Žp. 129. has suggested, ‘‘Where there is certain knowledge, true science, or absolute right, there is no conflict that cannot be resolved be reference to the unity of truth and thus there is no necessity for politics.’’ It is apparent that the original Vision document, while very farsighted, suggested a consensus that did not yet exist. Thus it became liable, on the one hand, to environmentalist criticism that it lacked ‘clout’ due to its vagueness and on the other hand, to multiple-user group criticism that it was too pro-environment ŽMilstein, 1991.. But perhaps more illustrative of the problem is an observation made by Marshall Gingery, assistant superintendent of Grand Teton National Park. Conceding the likely demise of the Vision document, Gingery noted: ‘‘it will still come down to how much pressure the public will put on us to manage the right way’’ ŽMilstein, 1991, p. 1.. This remark suggests a possible failure to recognize that the public is not yet willing to grant ecosystem management the status of ‘certain knowl-


edge,’ and therefore, there is as yet no ‘right’ way to manage the area. In September of 1991 a revised Vision document was released. The final Vision document was a drastic revision of the original text, having been shortened from over 80 pages to 10 pages. Moreover, the original goal to ‘‘Maintain Ecosystem Integrity’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1990, pp. 3–7. was replaced with the principle to ‘‘Maintain Functional Ecosystems’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1991, p. 4.. A shift predicated on the admission that ‘‘there is more than a single ecosystem in the Greater Yellowstone Area’’ ŽSummary, 1991, p. 4.. In short, this new version offered a ‘‘statement of principles and guidelines to coordinate management of the national forests and parks in the Greater Yellowstone Area,’’ which also ‘‘reinforces the separate missions of the USDA-FS and USDI-NPS’’ ŽUSDA-FS and USDI-NPS, 1991, p. 1.. This change in direction might be, as one disgruntled environmentalist suggested, ‘‘another example of the industry-controlled politicians affecting the outcome from the agency’’ ŽWhipple, 1991, p. A10.. But it might also suggest that the political process is functioning as it should. Indeed, a purpose of participatory politics is to make ‘‘preferences and opinions earn legitimacy by forcing them to run the gauntlet of public deliberation and public judgement’’ ŽBarber, 1984, p. 136.. The revised vision document, then, simply acknowledged that ecosystem management has not earned legitimacy. What occurred at Yellowstone, then, was a showdown over the political legitimacy of ecosystem management. Consider, for example, Robert Barbee’s ŽYellowstone’s Superintendent. Paul Schullery’s ŽYellowstone environmental specialist and journalist. and John Varley’s ŽYellowstone chief of Research. Ž1991. thoughtful and spirited account of what when wrong with the Vision process. In their view, the only players that openly endorsed the draft Vision document were the USDI-NPS and USDA-FS. But even that support was not complete: ‘‘though forest supervisors and park superintendents involved were strongly committed to the Vision, many staff members weren’t’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, p. 84.. Some local environmental groups endorsed the Vision process, but most of the national groups simply ‘‘bowed politely toward the process,’’ while refusing to


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‘‘jump in with both feet and take a major part in the dialogues’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, pp. 82 and 84.. And then there were ‘‘commodity groups of many persuasions’’ who mounted a ‘‘powerful regional campaign’’ by convincing their members that the proposal represented a ‘‘giant land-grab, another Federal lockup’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, pp. 82 and 85.. In short, the Vision process submitted ecosystem management to public judgement which determined that the idea had not yet earned legitimacy. Aside from a relatively small group of agency personnel, the members of the Yellowstone community were either not interested in the principles of the draft Vision document, or openly hostile to them. To proceed with the proposal under these conditions, therefore, would be tantamount to turning control of the Greater Yellowstone Area over to a small group of resource professionals. This assessment is based on the premise that the Yellowstone controversy represented a public deliberation. There is another possibility however. As Barbee, Schullery and Varley argue: ‘‘Public sentiment did not have a great deal to do with the process. The American public, the owners of the parks and foresters of the greater Yellowstone area, played virtually no role at all’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, p. 85.. This is a reference, of course, to the fact that ‘‘attempts to hold hearings on the Vision in other parts of the country—far from intense local pressures—failed’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, p. 85.. Moreover, this view of the situation has received additional support recently. A 15-month investigation into ‘alleged improprieties in the directed reassignments’ of Lorraine Mintzmyer and John Mumma by the Subcommittee on the Civil Service of the US House of Representatives ‘‘revealed a conspiracy by powerful commodity and special interest groups and the Bush Administration to eviscerate the DRAFT Vision document’’ ŽUS Congress, 1992, p. 2.. Some of the steps in this ‘conspiracy’ were: ‘‘Ž1. closing previously planned national hearings to avoid anticipated positive public comment; Ž2. employing outside groups to ’’rig‘‘ the appearance of negative public opinion at a few, select, local public meetings; Ž3. maneuvering the scientific interdisciplinary team out of the revision process and Ž4. using the manufactured, negative, public comment to explain why the revisions were allegedly necessary’’ ŽUS

Congress, 1992, p. 11.. It might be noted parenthetically that part of the evidence used to support these charges was Barbee, Schullery and Varley’s account. Several issues emerge at this point. First, it seems that dubbing opposition to the draft Vision document a ‘conspiracy’ is overstating the case. For example, Barbee, Schullery and Varley note that the ‘‘governors of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho wrote a joint letter criticizing the process’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, p. 82.. We seriously doubt that these actions were part of a conspiracy. The then governor of Idaho, Cecil Andrus, a life-long Democrat and President Carter’s Secretary of Interior, hardly strikes one as a likely participant in any conspiracy of the Bush Administration. Second, the suggestion that ‘negative public opinion’ was ‘manufactured’ simply demonstrates a lack of understanding about the Vision process and public land conflicts in general. The entire Vision document process confirms that the idea of ecosystem management encountered opposition from the beginning. Barbee et al. Ž1991. complain that ‘‘repeated meetings . . . with mining associations and other commodity extraction groups’’ led inevitably to the conclusion that ‘‘you can meet forever with opponents and if they truly disagree with your position, you will not change their position’’ Žpp. 84–85.. Finally, as noted above, anyone familiar with contemporary public land conflicts knows that ecology and ecosystem are political code words guaranteed to meet opposition from commodity user groups. In short, if negative public opinion was manufactured, the draft Vision document was what produced it. Third, and perhaps more intriguing, the account by Barbee, Schullery and Varley, as well as the Subcommittee’s report, contain a view of the public which is problematic at best. On the one hand, if the national parks and forests are owned by the ‘American public,’ then how can there be ‘outside groups’? On the other hand, what criteria are used to determine that opponents of the draft Vision document, which included governors and legislators as well as commodity users, are excluded from the American public? The point here, of course, is that the political boundaries in question were not between the ‘American public’ and some other public, but rather between supporters and opponents of the draft Vision

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document. Stated differently, supporters understood that local hearings would be heavily populated by their opponents. The public input during the early stages of the Vision process made that abundantly clear. Their belief, then, was that hearings held in places outside of the region would be populated by interests sympathetic to the process. This brings us to our final concern. If Barbee, Schullery and Varley’s assessment was an accurate reading of the political landscape, then it was not at all clear that hearings outside of the region would have produced different results. One of their key complaints was that national environmental groups expressed very little interest in the proposal. What is missing here, then, is evidence that these groups would have been more interested in the proposal had the hearings been held in some other location. At the same time, given the intensity of opposition to the proposal, there is every reason to believe that opponents would have been ‘‘brought in by the bus-load’’ ŽBarbee et al., 1991, p. 82. wherever the hearings were held. In sum, it seems that the various accounts about what went wrong with the Vision process lead back to our earlier contention—the managers involved simply did not understand the dynamics of public discourse. Rather than trying to build a public consensus around the idea of ecosystem management, the Vision process was an attempt to play one part of the public against other parts. It is not surprising, therefore, why the document became the focal point of divisiveness and acrimony, replete with charge and countercharge about conspiracies. Ecosystem management is a public policy idea. As Deborah Stone ŽStone, 1988, p. 25. reminds us: Ideas are the very stuff of politics. People fight about ideas, fight for them and fight against them . . . Every idea about policy draws boundaries. It tells us what or who is included or excluded in a category. These boundaries are more than intellectual—they define people in and out of a conflict or place them on different sides.

4. Reflections on science and democracy There are two major points which emerge from this discussion of the Yellowstone experience. The


first has to do with the relationship between science and democratic discourse. Much has been said already about the failure of the land managers to adequately understand the ‘publicness’ of the public lands. Wallace Stegner understood that ‘publicness’ when he noted that ‘‘A place is nothing in itself. It has no meaning, it can hardly be said to exist, except in terms of human perception, use and response.’’ ŽStegner, 1989, p. 169. Or, as we ŽFreemuth and Cawley, 1993, pp. 13–14., have argued elsewhere: The federal lands, whether as national parks, national forests, or ecosystems, are owned by the American public. But they are also places in which local communities have developed. In consequence, management decisions are as much about defining the character of those local communities as they are about defining land use practices. It would be misdirected, of course, to allow local desires to dictate national policy. However, it is not only misdirected but ultimately counterproductive to dismiss local concerns as somehow not part of the public discourse over national policy. What early conservationists . . . understood was that major policy shifts required developing a discourse in which scientists, professionals, local publics and national publics could find common meanings. It was not an easy task, nor did it occur overnight. Nevertheless, conservation did, at least for a time, define a consensus position about the management of the federal estate. Is it possible that the USDI-NPS and USDA-FS remain more influenced by their Progressive legacy, rather than by the understanding of the early conservationists mentioned above? Barbara Romzek and Melvin Dubnick once described the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ŽNASA. as having what they term a ‘professional accountability’ system during the 1960s. Under this system, ‘‘public officials must rely on skilled and expert employees to provide appropriate solutions’’ ŽRomzek and Dubnick, 1987, p. 229.. Indeed, under this system the general public is also placed in the role of deference to expertise. But the USDI-NPS and the USDA-FS today are not expert-centered agencies but more responsive


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ones. A responsive agency, in the words of Romzek and Dubnick, is concerned with questions of representation, access and responsiveness to public demands. ‘‘The potential constituencies include the general public, elected officials, agency heads, agency clientele, other special interest groups and future generations. Regardless of which definition of constituency is adopted, the administrator is expected to be responsive to their policy priorities and programmatic needs’’ ŽRomzek and Dubnick, 1987, p. 229.. Deference to the expertise of scientifically trained professionals will only happen, if it happens at all, after a long public discourse. That becomes the ‘proper’ relationship between science and democracy. The second point is more problematic. Part of the Yellowstone debate concerned the use of the science of ecology to guide land management decisions. Ecology was the trump science. But what about the other sciences which had informed land managers in the past, forestry, range management, wildland recreation and so on? Apparently what has arisen is what might be called ‘duelling sciences’. Which science are we supposed to follow and why? Are there ‘good’ sciences and ‘bad’ sciences? These questions take us to Elizabeth Bird’s observation about ecology: ‘‘Should we believe everything the science of ecology has to tell us about our relations with nature? Or should we examine the social construction of ecology itself . . . and find out if we would want the kind of world that ecology would construct for us if it were to win political hegemony in the sciences?’’ ŽBird, 1987, p. 265.. We need to know about the political, administrative and democratic consequences of ecology as the guiding science for public land management. Is Orr Ž1995. Žp. 244. correct in asserting that ecology and ‘genuine conservatism’ are both guided by a ‘‘belief in a transcendent moral order’’? Are Ophuls and Boyan Ž1992. Žp. 214–215. correct in asserting that a politics based in ecology m ay be ‘‘ m ore authoritarian and less democratic . . . with full participation in the political process restricted to those who possess the ecological and other competencies necessary to make prudent decisions’’? If these assertions are correct, then we are in danger of having a new class of scientific experts again stifle the very debate we need to have about the future of our public lands.

References Barbee, R.D., Schullery, P., Varley, J.D., 1991. The Yellowstone vision: an experiment that failed or a vote for posterity? In: Proceedings of the Partnerships in Parks and Preservation Conference, Albany, NY, Sept. 9–12, 1991 Žcopy.. Barber, B., 1984. Strong Democracy. University of California, Berkeley. Bird, E.A.R., 1987. The social construction of nature. Environ. Rev. 11, 255–265. Brown, W., 1987. Preamble grist. George Wright Forum 5, 8–22. Cawley, M.R., Freemuth, J., 1993. Tree farms, mother earth and other dilemmas: the politics of ecosystem management in Greater Yellowstone. Soc. Nat. Res. 6, 41–53. Clarke, J.N. and McCool, D., 1985. Staking Out the Terrain: Power Differentials among Natural Resource Agencies. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY. Culhane, P., 1981. Public Lands Politics. Johns Hopkins Press for Resources for the Future, Baltimore. Environ. Policy Alert, June 7, 1995, 38–39. Environmental Policy Alert, 1995. Everhart, W., 1983. The National Park Service. Westview Press, Boulder. Freemuth, J., 1989. The National Parks political versus professional determinants of policy. Public Admin. Rev. 49, 278– 286. Freemuth, J., Cawley, G., 1993. Ecosystem management: the relationship among science, land managers and the public. George Wright Forum 10, 26–32. Ford, P., 1990. So far it’s all talk. High Country News, 26 February. Hays, S.P., 1975. Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: the Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890–1920. Atheneum, NY. House Joint Resolution, 1991. Number 16, Wyoming Legislature. Keiter, R., 1989. Taking account of the ecosystem on the public domain: law and ecology in the Greater Yellowstone region. Univ. Colo. Law Rev. 60, 923–1007. Lichtman, P., Clark, T., 1994. Rethinking the vision exercise in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Soc. Nat. Res. 7, 459–478. Milstein, M., 1991. A fading Yellowstone vision. High Country News, Vol. 1 , June 3. Ophuls, W., Boyan Jr., A.S., 1992. Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity Revisited: the Unraveling of the American Dream. Freeman, NY. Orr, D.W., 1995. Conservation and conservatism. Conserv. Biol. 9, 242–245. Romzek, B., Dubnick, M., 1987. Accountability in the public sector: lessons from the challenger tragedy. Public Admin. Rev. 40, 227–238. Stegner, W., 1989. The marks of human passage. In: Harmon, D. ŽEd.., Mirror of America: Literary Encounters with the National Parks. Roberts Rinehart, Boulder. Stiak, J., 1989. Forester challenges his agency to a discussion. High Country News, 5 June. Stone, D.A., 1988. Policy Paradox and Political Reason. Scott, Forseman, Glenville.

J. Freemuth, R. McGreggor Cawleyr Landscape and Urban Planning 40 (1998) 211–219 Summary, 1991. US Congress, 1992. Interference in environmental programs by political appointees: the improper treatment of a senior executive service official. An unofficial staff report prepared by the Subcommittee on the Civil Service, US House of Representatives. USDA States Forest Service and USDI National Park Service, 1990. Vision for the Future: a Framework for Coordination in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Government Printing Office, WA.


USDA States Forest Service and USDI. National Park Service, 1991. Summary of Public Comments on the Draft Greater Yellowstone Framework for Coordination. Government Printing Office, WA, DC. Cited as Summary. Tipple, T.J., Wellman, J.D., 1991. Herbert Kaufman’s forest ranger thirty years later: from simplicity and homogeneity to complexity and diversity. Public Admin. Rev. 51, 421–428. Whipple, D., 1991. All sides fault final ‘Vision’ document. Casper Star Tribune, 12 September.