Article III. Reconciling resource management with the landscape: an approach to identify scale mis-fit in social-ecological systems
Bosque Pérez, Nilsa A
Fremier, Alexander K
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Scale mis-fit occurs when natural resources are not managed at the spatial or temporal scale at which they are provisioned. Issues of scale mis-fit abound in social-ecological systems. They can hinder efforts to effectively manage resources and threaten resilience of the larger ecosystem, thus affecting societal well-being and livelihoods. Here, we present an approach to identify issues of scale mis-fit. Our approach can be used to define a specific natural resource problem, determine the scales at which relevant biophysical processes and management actions occur, assess spatial and temporal scale mis-fits, and identify potential solutions. We provide two case studies of drinking water resource management in Costa Rica and the Pacific Northwest United States as applications of our approach to natural resource management. While our case studies focus on a subset of water resources, the approach we present is broadly applicable to an array of social-ecological systems.