Summary

In summary, 'applied ecology' draws its strength from the commitment ofecologists to engage in the application of their science to natural resource management. The discipline relies upon a balance that maintains a strong commitment to broad enquiry going beyond the need for solutions to immediate problems at hand. Information important for solving the environmental challenges of the future will emerge from a broad base of fundamental ecological knowledge and understanding. The discipline also relies on effective communication between the diverse sectors responsible for bringing about effective action on the environment. Applied ecologists do not make policy or make decisions about how to manage the environment. Industry, government, and resource managers do that, and it is up to them to take or reject advice. Ecological knowledge and understanding must be brought to the table in a form that can be readily understood and adopted by industry, government, and management. The major challenge is for ecologists to recognize the contribution they can make to the triple bottom line of industry, and to decision making in government and nongovernment resource management agencies. Ecologists need to become and remain engaged in informing the process of policy formulation, decision making, and implementation by bringing the best-available science to the table. In a world where environmental challenges are increasing dramatically, responsible ecologists need to have a keen eye out for applications of their work and a commitment to engage with natural resource managers when opportunities to add value arise. This is applied ecology's raison d' etre.

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