resource managers in that, although it deals with venerable traditions, they describe logical ways of thinking about value conflict. Managers must be aware that there are numerous alternative systematic and well-reasoned ways to approach the valuing of biodiversity and that each tradition suggests what should be given weight in a policy decision and how a decision should be reached. Differing policy-analysis tools implicitly or explicitly draw on those traditions and thus favor particular outcomes. Some of the conflicts faced by managers grow from the concerns of ''winners'' and "losers" related to different policy outcomes. But many of the conflicts result from differing traditions of thinking about value and the approaches to making decisions that follow from them. In the field of risk analysis, some literature suggests that there are shared differences between federal officials and various stakeholders in their explanations of why environmental conflicts arise (Dietz and others 1989). Obviously, differences among parties in understanding why there is conflict can impede resolution of conflict.
Given all those concerns, how is a manager to proceed? No tool or approach is likely to resolve all conflicts to the satisfaction of all parties. In chapter 5, we review some of the ways that economists assign values for improving the decision-making process, as well as their usefulness and limitations. Economic tools are generally used to estimate the effects of incremental changes, so economists tend to focus their attention on aspects of biodiversity and values in scales similar to those of markets for other goods and services. That is, economists typically direct their skills and analytical tools at decisions involving relatively small changes, such as changes in the supply and price of milk, rather than in the value of milk to the nation's overall well-being. Methods like benefit-cost analysis provide useful information, but they can rarely be the sole basis for a management decision. At the same time, by quickly identifying weaknesses, they can be helpful in eliminating some forms of undesirable options from further consideration.
Chapter 6 addresses processes that resource managers can use to determine public concerns, identify alternative management approaches, obtain information from stakeholders and the public about values related to the alternatives, and identify alternatives that best meet all needs. It provides guidance on how the valuation of biodiversity and the process of weighing values of biodiversity can be used to improve policy formulation and management decision-making.
Chapter 7 stresses that it is important for managers to have a broad perspective on how conserving biodiversity fits into their management decisions. No single suitable approach to valuing biodiversity can be recommended. As managers struggle with their difficult resource-management decisions, continued effort should be made to improve information on how management affects biodiversity, to improve the integration of the various values that are relevant to conserving biodiversity, and to improve processes for reaching consensus on management decisions.