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29 Conservation Biology 950 (2015)


Heller and Hobbs (2014) provide an incisive analysis of the challenges inherent in setting endpoint states as conservation goals. The social construct of nature, nonequilibrium ecosystems, global climate change, large-scale transformations of the landscape, and increasing population and economic activity confound efforts to establish conservation goals. Stakeholders often disagree on endpoint targets, whereas competing notions of historic fidelity and future flexibility frustrate our ability to articulate success, never mind actually achieve it. As Heller and Hobbs describe, this leaves managers in the bind of finding the “balance between future-looking management emphasizing change and past-looking management emphasizing persistence.” As a result, decisions over when and how to intervene are particularly difficult.


Attached file is a preprint version of what was eventually published as Conservation Biology, v. 29 no. 3, 950-952 (2015)