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E-M:/ Social Carrying Capacity

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

I appreciate Ben Peyton providing additional insight into what Social 
Carrying Capacity and how it is used in setting the goals for wildlife 
management.  As Dave Zaber had previously noted in a thoughtful message to 
E-M, it is not the tool per se that is the issue.  

But the note from Ben actually confirms one of my greatest concerns -- 
Michigan voters a few years ago enacted Proposition G that mandates the 
"scientific management" of wildllife species.  But as Ben notes:

"Setting bear population goal levels is a political process.  Application 
of a social carrying capacity approach is a bit more.  It is an integration 
of biology, communication and education, and, ultimately, politics.  The  
process requires social science data collection in order to diagnose public
perceptions, identify opportunities for communication, determine how well 
informed preferences are, etc."

My reaction was not about the technique, but about its application by our 
wildlife managers.  It IS being used for policy setting, evidently in 
conflict with Proposition G. 

Anne Woiwode

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