Sentimental ecology, science and sustainable ecosystem management

Robert J. Mason, Sarah Michaels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sustainability in principle and sustainability in practice can differ dramatically. Indeed, even the definition of sustainability is highly contested, with the term being appropriated by divergent interests to advance and serve their needs. The Adirondack experience provides a compelling illustration of the complications that can arise in attempting to define and implement sustainable ecosystem management in an economically marginal, but highly valued, region situated in close proximity to one of the wealthiest, most mobile populations on the planet. The Adirondack Park experience is representative of a number of American and worldwide trends that are relevant to ecosystem management. Bill McKibben a best-selling author and resident champion of the Park, considers the Adirondacks ‘the world’s first experiment in restoring an entire ecosystem’. Any attempt at ecosystem restoration raises questions about baseline ecological knowledge, possible unforeseen and undesirable ecological consequences, and questions of political acceptability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEcology, Uncertainty and Policy
Subtitle of host publicationManaging Ecosystems for Sustainability
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781317905066
ISBN (Print)0130161217, 9780130161215
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Social Sciences


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