<p>The controversy over the management of national forests in the Pacific Northwest vividly demonstrates the shortcomings of existing management institutions and natural resource policies. The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl explores the American policy-making process through the case of the spotted owl - a case that offers a striking illustration of the failure of our society to cope with long-term, science-intensive issues requiring collective choices.<p>Steven Lewis Yaffee analyzes the political and organizational dynamics from which the controversy emerged and the factors that led to our stunning inability to solve it. He examines the state of resource management agencies and policy processes, providing insight into questions such as: <ul> <li>What caused the extreme polarization of opinion and lack of communication throughout the 1980s and early 1990s? <li>How can the inadequate response of government agencies and the failure of the decision-making process be explained? <li>What kinds of changes must be made to enable our resource policy institutions to better deal with critical environmental issues of the 1990s and beyond? </ul> By outlining a set of needed reforms, the book will assist those who are involved in re-creating natural resource agencies and public policy processes for the challenges of the next century. In explaining the policy-making process - its realities and idiosyncrasies – The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl provides a framework for understanding policies and institutions, and presents a prescription for change to allow for more effective handling of current and future environmental problems.
Yaffee School of Natural Resources and Environment, U. of Michigan analyzes the political and organizational dynamics surrounding the two decades of controversy over the northern spotted owl and its habitat. He examines the state of resource management agencies and policy processes and outlines a set of reforms to allow for more effective handling of current and future environmental problems. His recommendations include bridging the agency-nonagency boundary, changing leadership styles, and creating a culture of creativity and risk-taking. Paper edition 204-6, $26.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
Steven Lewis Yaffee is a faculty member in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at The University of Michigan where he teaches courses in natural resource policy and administration, negotiation skills, American environmental history, and biodiversity and public policy. His research focuses on understanding and improving public decision-making processes as they influence the management of natural resources, and exploring the behavior of administrative agencies and interest groups as they are involved in implementing public policies. He has worked for more than fifteen years on federal endangered species policy.
Dr. Yaffee received his Ph.D. in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in environmental policy and planning and has earlier degrees in natural resources. He has taught at MIT and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and has been a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Conservation Foundation/World Wildlife Fund.