adaptive management approaches hold promise for managing the full array of Corps of Engineers projects. Moreover, as the types of social benefits expected from Corps projects have broadened over time, an approach that periodically (re)evaluates project outputs and subsequently adjusts operations policies is essential to ensure that project outputs and social demands remain synchronized over time.


Chapter 2 builds upon discussions in this introductory chapter and further explores adaptive management theories and practices. It notes the many disciplines from which contemporary adaptive management concepts are derived, and lists the key components of adaptive management programs. Chapter 3 describes internal and external factors that affect the use of adaptive management approaches within the Corps of Engineers. Examples of internal factors include organizational structure and disciplinary expertise of Corps staff, while external factors include congressional legislation and the Corps’ relationships with other federal and state agencies. Chapter 4 presents case studies of efforts to implement adaptive management in large river and aquatic ecosystems. All these case studies focus on Corps efforts, but a case study of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon is also included for comparative purposes. Chapter 5 offers several recommendations for ways in which the Corps might successfully apply adaptive management. Chapter 6 presents a brief epilogue.

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