Engaging Ecologists in Public Policy: Revisiting ESA Recommendations
Monday, August 5, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
101B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Kenneth M. Klemow
Sharon K. Collinge
Kenneth M. Klemow
Elena M. Bennett
Mark W. Brunson
Alexis C. Erwin
Robert B. Jackson
Ecologists have interacted with policy makers for decades. Such interactions sometimes result in the creation of laws and other policies to regulate activities as diverse as residential and commercial land use, hunting, agriculture, fisheries, and energy extraction. A goal of such interactions is to ensure that policies reflect emerging research findings. But engaging in policy is a messy, human endeavor—unpredictable, non-linear, and often frustrating. Compromises, deal-making, contending with different perspectives, all make for an arena not easily navigated and with no easy recipes for integrating ecological information into decision-making.
Two years ago, the Ecological Society of America’s public affairs office and committee prepared a handbook, “An Ecologist’s Guidebook to Policy Engagement.” Included in the guidebook were suggestions for communicating with legislators at the federal, state, and local levels, interacting with natural resource managers, working with the media, speaking to the public, and more.
One may ask whether the recommendations provided in the guidebook are effective. Are there successful strategies that should be better emphasized? Are there hidden pitfalls that should be avoided?
This session will explore the recommendations provided in the guidebook. The first half will consist of a series of short presentations by ecologists active in working with a variety of stakeholder groups on a range of public policy issues. The second half will consist of an open discussion in which attendees will be invited to share their experiences and ask questions. Recommendations for updating the guidebook will be solicited from panelists and attendees.