Although many scientists recommend adaptive management for large forest tracts, there is little evidence that its use has been effective at this scale. One exception is the 10-million-hectare Northwest Forest Plan, which explicitly included adaptive management in its design. Evidence from 10 years' implementation of the plan suggests that formalizing adaptive steps and committing to monitoring worked better than allocating land to adaptive management areas. Clearly, some of the problems in implementing any new strategy should have been expected and probably would have been avoided if the plan had called for even more focused feedback. But decisions made after monitoring results were analyzed have led to new management priorities, including new approaches to adaptive management. These decisions suggest that one adaptive management loop has been completed. A continued commitment to learning about and adapting practices and institutions will most likely be needed to improve performance in the future.
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Vol. 57 • No. 2