Transforming the Means and Ends of Natural Resource Management

BY Alejandro E. Camacho

This Article considers how prominent goals of natural resources law and the prevailing model of regulatory decision making combine to limit the capacity of natural resources governance to manage the effects of climate change. The Article explores the implications of continuing to rely on conventionally static and fragmented decision making, passive management, and historical preservation when global climatic shifts are widely expected to lead to rapid changes in ecological systems that are unforeseen, novel, and potentially detrimental to ecological diversity and function. This emphasis of natural resources management on stasis arises from the legal system’s discomfort with integrating and managing uncertainty and change. As an accelerant, climate change makes this rigidity particularly evident and unsustainable. The Article ultimately argues for the need to change both the means and the ends of natural resources law to better deal with change and uncertainty, as well as inform and galvanize public deliberation on natural resource decisions.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 89 N.C. L. Rev. 1405 (2011)