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Integrating Adaptive Management and Oil and Gas Development: Existing Obstacles and Opportunities for Reform

October 2010

Citation: ELR 10962

Author: Melinda Harm Benson

Editors' Summary

Adaptive management is gaining influence with natural resource decisionmakers. Current laws and regulations in the United States, however, limit effective implementation of adaptive management. Wyoming's Pinedale Anticline can be examined as a case study focusing on barriers to adaptive management in the context of oil and gas development in the United States. Beginning with a brief primer on adaptive management, this case study reveals how three legal structures--the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Mineral Leasing Act--are currently impeding effective utilization of adaptive management.

Melinda Harm Benson is an assistant professor, University of New Mexico, Department of Geography.

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