Publication Details

Shared principles of restoration practice in the Chicago wilderness region

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Watkins, Christy; Westphal, Lynne M.; Gobster, Paul H.; Vining, Joanne; Wali, Alaka; Tudor, Madeleine

Year Published

2015

Publication

Human Ecology Review. 21(1): 155-177.

Abstract

We describe the rules, norms, and strategies (institutional statements) that characterize ecological restoration across 10 organizations in the Chicago Wilderness region. Our use of Ostrom's IAD ADICO grammar tool is novel in both context (non-extractive resource management) and data type (qualitative interviews). Results suggest that, in contrast to a focus on rules in the literature, restoration is overwhelmingly guided by strategies (institutional statements void of tangible or emotional sanctions). Moreover, a small, but critical set of norms exist. From over 1,700 institutional statements extracted, we found a suite of rich principles that guide behavior in all of the organizations: (1) qualify, don't quantify; (2) listen to the land; (3) practice follow-up; (4) do no harm; (5) respond to sanctions from the land; (6) balance diverse internal stakeholders; and (7) balance diverse external factors. These principles suggest that Chicago Wilderness restorationists have a strong shared understanding upon which collective action and adaptive management occurs.

Citation

Watkins, Christy; Westphal, Lynne M.; Gobster, Paul H.; Vining, Joanne; Wali, Alaka; Tudor, Madeleine. 2015. Shared principles of restoration practice in the Chicago wilderness region. Human Ecology Review. 21(1): 155-177.

Last updated on: March 2, 2015