goals. One is to shed light on how protection of elements of biodiversity affects the various kinds of values that it affords. The other is to build the confidence not only of the resource mangers, but also of the public, in the ultimate decisions.
Resource managers have the unenviable task of weighing the value of biodiversity in the absence of any one suitable metric that encompasses the range of legitimate views. Appropriate processes thus become important for identifying how possible management choices affect biodiversity for identifying how these choices affect the various kinds of values that can be assigned to biodiversity and for gaining public acceptance of the decisions made by the resource managers.
Our intent has been to provide a spectrum of examples that embody a range of complications and challenges inherent in environmentally sensitive management decisions. We have purposely constrained our examples to illustrate more local than global issues. Thus, we avoid discussion of global warming and its potential consequences; although surely important enough in connection with the central themes of our report, these are beyond the capacity of local managers and decision-makers to influence significantly. Rather, we present and discuss scenarios ranging from specific local actions to regional problems that, although acknowledged, remain unsolved. These are intended to encapsulate the multiple dimensions of the management challenge; we do not intend them to be interpreted as specific instructions. Management flexibility and development of mutual trust and understanding are likely to achieve management objectives more effectively than the blunt application of a legal procedure.
We begin by describing in some detail two examples that approach the extremes of the management dilemma. The Camp Pendleton case study involves a spatially restricted program of environmental management sensitive to the maintenance of the local biological communities. The Western Rangelands case study embodies a nearly polar opposite; the management challenges are diverse, the spatial scale is immense, there is little evidence of problem solution, and there surely is no single solution. These examples are given to establish the biological, economic, and even philosophical issues central to our report.
Camp Pendleton, a 126,000-acre Marine Corps training base along the Pacific Coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, has almost by accident become a biodiversity reserve in the midst of exploding residential development. The base has a diversity of habitat types in an area of high natural biodiversity and includes a number of species of special concern, especially threatened and endangered species, such as the California gnat-catcher, the least Bell's vireo, the orange-throated whiptail lizard, and the arroyo toad. Its amphibious-warfare training mission, which might seem to be at odds with protecting biodiversity, actually treads lightly on the natural setting, which is dominated by grassland and