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International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 2014 Vol. 10, No. 3, 228–239, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2014.936508 a a b b Therese Bjärstig *, Camilla Sandström , Sara Lindqvist and Emma Kvastegård a b Department of Political Science, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden Sweden is undergoing an extensive transformation from single species management towards ecosystem-based management. This study analyses the implementation of the new moose management system, focusing on the newly formed partnerships at ecosystem level (the moose management areas) and their potential to ease conflicts between participants and develop into sustainable collaborations that enable ecosystem-based management. Empirical evidence was obtained from semi-structured interviews with involved actors (hunters, landowners, wildlife managers and forest consultants) in five Swedish counties. Several challenges, based on the participants’ abilities, willingness and understanding needed to implement the new management system, were identified. Lack of funding, unclear roles and responsibilities appear to be the most serious issues. If these are not properly solved, then they have the potential to hamper and aggravate the implementation of the new management system, that is, the ecosystem-based management, as well as the partnership arrangement. Keywords: ecosystem; adaptive management; moose management areas; implementation; partnership; Sweden 1. Introduction Glasbergen 2011), less effort has been paid to examine the Partnerships involving public and private actors are implementation of such arrangements from the involved becoming key institutional pathways to the governance stakeholders’ perspectives. The early phase of the imple- of natural resources all over the world (Ostrom 2005, mentation process is believed to be especially important 2007; Sabatier et al. 2005; Bäckstrand 2006; Reed 2008). because the institutional solutions created during this for- Sweden is no exception from this development, where the mative moment of the new management model or system governance of game and wildlife is currently going tends to persist and affect success or failure in the future through an extensive transformation from single species (Niklasson & Pierre 2012). This study will use the newly management towards ecosystem-based management instigated ecosystem-based partnerships for moose man- (Sandström 2012). This far-reaching institutional change agement as a case to, during the formative moment of incorporates representatives of hunters, landowners and development, examine factors supporting and hindering regional authorities into ecosystem-based partnerships implementation of ecosystem-based management, we do with the purpose to manage wildlife from an ecosystem not attempt to evaluate the new moose management sys- perspective, with moose (Alces alces) as an example spe- tem due to its recent implementation. The focus is rather cies (Prop 2009/10:239). on the established partnerships on the ecosystem level and For all its promise, there are few examples of where their perceived potential to balance social and ecological ecosystem-based management has been implemented suc- values, reduce conflicts and, that is, contribute to the stated cessfully, particularly regarding terrestrial compared to objectives of the new moose management system: marine ecosystems (Sandström et al. 2013; Yaffee 2011). Studies on the implementation phase of ecosystem-based a production based moose hunt with a high quality, viable management is thus of general interest for all involved in moose population in long-term balance with the forage ecosystem-based management. Multiple problems can resources, and where moose population size is adjusted arise due to the lack of abilities and willingness of those by adequate harvest levels considering forage availability, other land use, traffic safety and carnivore populations. involved to collaborate in order to reach the goals needed (SOU 2009:54, p. 13) to put the ecosystem-based management system into prac- tice. Furthermore, discrepancies between the actors’ per- ception or understanding of the goals and principles of the 2. Background management system may hamper the acceptance of central government schemes (Lundquist 1987, 1992; Vedung Hunting in Sweden, moose hunting in particular, is an impor- 1998; Grant & Quinn 2007). tant source of recreation and livelihood as well as being a While much effort has been made to evaluate the vital social and cultural activity (Mattsson et al. 2008; Fischer mechanisms underlying the establishment of these types et al. 2013). The moose is considered an important species to of partnerships and how they have gained ground in dif- fully experience Swedish nature and, as such, an important ferent areas and societal levels (Bäckstrand 2010; symbol for tourism (Gössling & Hultman 2006). *Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com © 2014 Taylor & Francis International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 229 The focal point of moose management has been on increasing the population (Liberg et al. 2010). High num- Swedish Environmental bers of moose cause browsing damage, which leads to Protection Agency Swedish both reduced growth and inferior timber quality. The con- Forest sequence is a lower economic return for forest owners County Administrative Boards Agency which exceeds the economic value of moose meat and Wildlife Management Delegations the recreational value of hunting (Glöde et al. 2004; Bergström et al. 2010). Moose Management Areas Much effort have been made to reduce the adverse effects Moose Management Group of the large moose populations, such as hunting regulations, (3 land owners + 3 hunters) the introduction of reimbursement schemes to diminish brows- Licence Areas ing damage and locally based moose management units. Yet Moose Management these schemes have been largely unsuccessful (Åkerberg Units Unregistered Areas 2005).Accordingtoanofficialinvestigation, the situation haslongbeencharacterisedby a collective action problem, Hunting Teams where the involved actors seem to lack the incentive to con- tribute to conflict resolution (SOU 2009:54). The poor perfor- Figure 1. Organisational structure of the new moose manage- mance of these measures has forced the parliament to move ment system (Environmental Protection Agency NFS 2011:7; see also Sandström 2011). from traditional single species management towards a more holistic ecosystem approach (Wennberg Digasper 2008). This decisions regarding relevant measures to be taken in the includes collaborative arrangements and partnerships between county and prepares guidelines for the county administra- landowners and hunters to manage sustainable moose popula- tive board, while the purpose of the moose management tions in balance with available food resources and silvicultural areas is to bridge the identified governance gap between practices, as well as other issues such as moose-related traffic the local and regional levels and to improve the ability of accidents, biodiversity and interactions between moose and the actors involved to manage an entire moose population large carnivores (Prop 2009/10:239). (Prop 2009/10:239). Each moose management area con- The moose management system in Sweden has chan- sists of a moose management group. The moose manage- ged several times and, before the most recent change, ment group is responsible for creating management plans could best be described as inconsistent and a patchwork for the moose management area and to coordinate, obtain of many different hunting regulations covering different and evaluate monitoring activities. They also act as an licence areas and moose management units (SOU advisory body towards moose management units. The 2009:54). The moose management units were considered moose management units are subunits of the moose man- large enough to manage moose which required collective agement areas and, as previously stated, create their own action between landowners and hunters and the establish- local management plans in cooperation with hunters and ment of a moose management plan. Besides objectives for landowners. As part of this system, the licence areas and the moose population, the plan would specify actions to unregistered areas are included, although not directly limit browsing damage to forests and crops and the risk of traffic accidents caused by moose. The moose manage- active in the adaptive process (Prop 2009/10:239). ment units were a popular reform, although they did not cover all of the land or a moose population. In addition, 3. Theoretical framework the power relations between the two key stakeholders were Ecosystem-based management (EBM) emerged in the late skewed in favour of hunting interests, which reinforced the 1980s as an alternative to the fragmented approach to nat- inconsistencies of the management system. The previous ural resource management that dominated the twentieth moose management did not contribute to the overall objec- century (Slocombe 1993, 1994; Grumbine 1997; Yaffee tives of that system (Wennberg Digasper & Sandström 1999). EBM includes three central attributes: (1) land- 2010; Sandström et al. 2013). That is why a new moose scape-level planning (Selman 2004), (2) collaboration management system was introduced in 2012 in order to with stakeholders, where new governance mechanisms address these problems. such as public–private partnerships have been increasingly Organisationally this meant that in addition to the accepted as instruments for sustainable development Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish (Glasbergen 2007, 2012; Van Huijstee et al. 2007) and (3) Forest Agency (SFA) at the national level and the counties adaptive and flexible implementation (Allen et al. 2001; at the regional level, including the wildlife management Allen & Gunderson 2011; Weinstein & Turner 2012). delegation, a body chaired by the County Governor and its All three attributes are important components in the members representing the interests of hunters, farmers, new Swedish moose management system and captured conservation NGOs, municipalities, police, tourism, fores- through the newly established partnership-based moose ters, etc., a new ecosystem-based level, the moose man- management areas which are responsible for an adaptive agement areas, were introduced, see Figure 1. The wildlife and flexible approach to the implementation of the moose management delegations adopts general guidelines for Local Level National Level 230 T. Bjärstig et al. policy at the ecosystem or landscape level; that is, each moose management area is provided with the opportunity and freedom to influence the moose population develop- Willingness ment with respect to the main objectives of the manage- Abilities Understanding (Attitudes and perceptions) ment system. These moose management areas are also the (Partnership process) (Organisational aspects) Consistency Basic focal unit for analysis in this study. The landscape or Access to: between: understanding of: ecosystem level is stating the boundaries of the system to - Finances - Interest and - Central concepts, be governed, while the partnership is based on the actors ideological "beliefs" - Time objectives, laws and that have a stake in the issue at hand related to the system, - Perceptions of regulations - Technical skills justice and fairness that is, hunters, landowners, wildlife managers and forest - Division of roles - Knowledge consultants. The partnership is assumed to work as a part of an interactive process, contribute to the restructuring and creation of new social relationships which might lead to ‘collaborative social action’ defined as ‘the process Figure 2. Key factors facilitating the implementation of the new through which interested parties agree to implement moose management system; if lacking these also have the poten- more or less binding agreements intended to promote a tial to hamper the implementation process, that is, ecosystem- more sustainable future’ (Glasbergen 2011, p. 3). The based management. primary method to implement EBM is adaptive manage- ment (AM), that is, where management goals are defined and actions realised in a continuous ‘learning by doing’ considered in order to establish a sustainable partnership process. This implies incorporating scientific as well as and be truly adaptive in the management (Allen et al. local and traditional ecological knowledge, where the 2001; Grant & Quinn 2007). We asked the participants management incessantly is followed up and evaluated, to reflect upon their abilities in terms of organisational providing new knowledge that can be interlaced in the aspects and practical requirements to identify how they future management (Allen et al. 2011; Williams 2011), perceive the available resource-base and how they think it for example, with annually recurrent monitoring of affects their abilities to implement the new EBM system. moose and forest resources as well as traffic and large Participants should also be willing to carry through the carnivore populations (Prop 2009/10:239). It is necessary implementation. It is assumed that consistency between that the involved participants have a basic understanding the new policy overarching goals and the participant’s of the attributes of EBM to be able to contribute to the ethos is needed. This is equivalent to what Yaffee (2011) implementation of the new management system (Yaffee define as attitudes and perceptions to the process per se but 2011). In related policy and implementation literature, also to other stakeholders and organisational norms and three factors (which are the involved actors understanding, cultures. Decisions that contradict the participant’s inter- ability and willingness to act) are often underlined as key ests or ideological beliefs may be discouraged. It is also factors which influence the implementation phase of a new assumed that if the participants perceive the decision as policy or management system (Lundquist 1987, 1992; functional, just and fair then it will make them more eager Vedung 1998; Sannerstedt 2001; Grant & Quinn 2007; to engage in the partnership process. If the implementation see also Ostrom 2009, 2011). These factors are combined is an integrated part of the participant’s official duty or with insights from the history of ecosystem-based manage- associated with their professional roles, then this is also ment (Yaffee 2011). expected to facilitate the process (Lundquist 1987). These Elements that facilitate the progress of EBM include assumptions have formed the basis for the questions we factors related to motivation, organisation, resources, designed to capture the participant’s willingness and moti- adaptability, legitimacy and energy that create the initia- vations to implement the new management system. tives and capacity to carry out collaborative action (for an Finally, the participants must understand what is overview, see Yaffee 1999, 2011). Many of these factors expected of them. They must comprehend the meaning can be translated into the three key implementation prin- of rules and regulations – in particular the basic principles ciples mentioned above. of EBM, that is, the responsibilities within the established When we say abilities, we refer to different types of partnership (Lundquist 1987, 1992; Grant & Quinn 2007; resources (see Figure 2) that needs to be accessible to Yaffee 2011). If they do not understand, or perceive EBM make the implementation process of EBM possible differently, it may hamper the implementation process. For (Lundquist 1992; Yaffee 2011). In particular, these relate government’s objectives to be met and for the participants to organisational aspects such as the approach chosen to to perform adequately, the ‘rules of the game’ need to be implement the new management system (bottom-up or set. Clarity of roles and responsibilities between the parti- top-down process) financial resources for administration cipants are essential ingredients to achieve long and sus- and monitoring, technical skills, the time frame and tainable results. In this respect, education and training are knowledge base (which is rendered from different moni- important as it can facilitate the implementation process toring activities, see Lindqvist et al. 2014) need to be International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 231 and subsequently the establishment of a sustainable part- existence of large forest companies (most common in the nership. We have asked the participants to describe and north). In addition, the extent of browsing damage varies define different aspects of the new management system to between and within each county. The participant’s county be able to capture any inconsistencies or differences belonging is thus assumed to affect their perceptions of among the participants that may affect the implementation factors supporting and hindering implementation of the process and/or the robustness of the partnerships. new moose management system, that is, EBM. 4. Methodology 4.2. Interviews 4.1. Case selection The empirical material for this study is based on semi- structured interviews conducted either face-to-face or by The moose management system has been established as telephone (Kvale 1996). Interviews were conducted with one unifying system in terms of rules and regulations wildlife managers (5) at the county administrative boards across Sweden. However, the Swedish counties differ and regional forest consultants (5) from the Swedish Forest with respect to ecological and social variables which Agency in each of the counties (representing the regional may affect moose management. It is reasonable to assume authorities in the partnership), and with representatives of that there are different prerequisites for each county to hunters and landowners (19) in one moose management implement the new adaptive moose management system. area in each county. They were chosen on recommendation We chose to study the implementation process in five by the wildlife managers as representative for the county, geographically dispersed counties. These counties are that is, not the ‘best’ or most well-functioning management Västerbotten, Dalarna, Södermanland, Västra Götaland area, nor the ‘worst’ with most conflicts and problems, and and Kronoberg (see Figure 3). The moose population in should also be representative when it comes to the moose these counties varies both in terms of quality and competi- population, harvest numbers and browsing damages. tion due to predation pressure and the existence of other In total, 29 interviews were conducted in the late ungulate species. The five counties also differ when it autumn of 2012 (see Supplementary Material online for comes to the landownership structure, such as the an overview of the interviewed participants in each county). We tried to contact all representatives in the five moose management areas (30). The dropout rate (11) was evenly distributed among the participants in the moose management groups (five hunters and six landowners declined to participate or were out of reach). Generally, it was the small private forest owners that accounted for non-response among the landowners, while landowners representing forestry companies made themselves avail- able. This may be due to the fact that they could take part in the interviews during the day as part of their work schedule without having to participate in their spare time. To accommodate for this discrepancy, we also offered to conduct the interviews in the evenings and on weekends if that was preferred. The reasons hunters gave for declining to be interviewed were primarily lack of time due to the heavy workload associated with the new management system. Since we were able to interview at least one hunter and one landowner in each moose management area, we consider this a balanced overview (since we also are open for disparities among the participants, even though we assume most disparities is due to the county belonging) and we judge that it is possible to make an accurate Figure 3. Map displaying the number of moose management analysis of the different moose management areas and areas in each county, and how many moose culled during the their work with the new moose management system. hunting season 2009–2010. An interview manual based on the three components of Note: The selected counties differ at the ecosystem-level (MMA) abilities, willingness and understanding mainly rendered in many aspects influencing the moose management: (1) other ungulate species exist in all counties. However, in from policy and implementation, but also EBM literature, Södermanland, the densities are remarkably high. (2) Brown has guided the interviews (see Figure 2 for a operationalisa- bear (Ursus arctos) and wolf (Canis lupus) are found in tion of the components into more specific elements that is Västerbotten and Västra Götaland, respectively, whereas possible to study empirically). The interviews lasted between Dalarna has both species. (3) Fewer forage species, but more 45 to 120 minutes. All interviews was recorded with the Scots pine and larger forest acreage in the northern compared to the southern counties. permission of the participants and then transcribed in full. 232 T. Bjärstig et al. The participants have had the opportunity to read the tran- new management system to interact. If the resources scribed interviews and were given the choice to clarify, needed to facilitate this type of collaborations are lacking, change and/or alter what they have said (which none of it may hamper the implementation of the new system. them chose to do), all to ensure validity for this study Participants in all counties remarked disparagingly on the (Baxter & Eyles 1997). financial conditions and lack of financial resources and how The interviews were read thoroughly and all information this had direct implications on their ability to fully implement pertaining to the participant’s perceived abilities, willingness the new management system. The majority of the respon- and understanding of the new moose management system dents felt it was unrealistic that the entire moose management were extracted from the material. Specific quotes were iden- system, including administration, compensation for moose tified that strengthened, clarified or illustrated these themes, management group members and monitoring, should be which are displayed in the text. Confidentiality is maintained funded by harvest fees alone (i.e. a new organisation and throughout; therefore, we refer to the participants merely as new tasks but with the same financial recourses as before). hunters, landowners or representatives of the agency they are This was their greatest concern. Participants in all counties from, and from which county. The original interview lan- shared the view that the expenditures, instead of being exclu- guage was Swedish, all interview excerpts presented are our sively funded by hunters, should rather be shared between translations into English. the actors, where hunters pay for the moose and landowners pay for the forest resources. An increased harvest fee was not seen as a solution to the problem. In Södermanland and 5. Results Västra Götaland, some of the respondents thought this may We studied the implementation phase of the new moose even have the opposite effect, where hunters would refocus management system with the basis in three elements; the their efforts towards other game: participant’s perceived abilities, willingness and under- standing, which will be the guiding themes in the follow- There is no certainty that higher harvest fees will solve [the ing sections. problem]. Rather, it could lead to hunting of other game, and then the total sum of money won't be enough, so there is no easy solution. (Forest manager, Södermanland) 5.1. Abilities By participants in all counties except Västerbotten another 5.1.1. Knowledge financial problem was raised. Given the fragmented land- Gathering of new knowledge is a keystone in EBM and scape due to the fact that many forest owners each own monitoring becomes the foundation on which the manage- only small shares of land, how will it be possible to ment rests; offering learning opportunities in terms of feed- subdivide monitoring costs equally and coordinate the back on resources changes and responses to management activities? Many respondents from counties in the south activities over time, which ultimately facilitates AM (Allen stated that the new management system seems to be et al. 2011; Williams 2011; Yaffee 2011). Our interviews designed to suit the conditions in the north (with big forest show that there is a general hope among the participants companies), rather than the south, of Sweden: that the new moose management system will enable a fact- based rather than an assumption-based management system: Norrland is structured through larger companies and in ‘It should be based on knowledge, not on emotions’ (Hunter, Sveaskog they own big areas and so on. They pay the Dalarna). However, according to the participants, there is a most of the monitoring up there. But here in southern lack of available information to reach this goal. The need for Sweden, due to a large degree of ownership fragmentation, I think it can be very difficult to finance monitoring here. better data and the desire to create a better overview was (Wildlife manager, Kronoberg) expressed, especially when it comes to monitoring the forest recourse (see also Lindqvist et al. 2014). Currently there is Critical statements about the financial prerequisites are only in one county, Västerbotten, that the participants claims more prevalent among the participants in the counties to have a sufficient amount of data on browsing damage, that have been forced to raise the harvest fees to finance which indicates that the right conditions needed to success- the new management system. The wildlife manager in fully balance moose and forest resources are missing in this Södermanland put it like this: initial step. It is quite easy and inexpensive for the hunters to gather data on the moose populations, compared to the forest …it was said that it [the new management system] would recourses, where browsing damage surveys require more be cheaper, but it has become very expensive, and we have planning, experience and time implementation which render not received any additional funds. (Wildlife manager, in costly expenditures. Södermanland) The participants accept that the administration of the new 5.1.2. Finances management system would initially cost a considerable Consultations through extensive communication are cen- amount of money, but emphasised that the moose manage- tral to allow for the different participants and levels in the ment areas are supposed to do a lot of the work that the International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 233 county administrative boards did before, so more funding 5.1.4. Practical and technical should be available for different forms of monitoring in Some of the county administrative boards have not man- the future. Overall, the participant’s abilities in terms of aged to support and provide the moose management financial conditions seem to spill over and affect their groups with requested material, such as digital maps over willingness to implement the management system. the moose management area. According to the partici- Besides lack of money for monitoring, scarce eco- pants, this makes it hard, or even nearly impossible, to nomic resources also affect the partnership. Members of make an accurate management plan for the moose man- the moose management groups gave examples of scarce agement areas. Where there is available data, another economic resources, such as not having the money to post problem is that the data often are incomplete and cover letters and inform or invite actors to the consultation only parts of the moose management area. The various process, thus undermining communication practices. monitoring methods differ within and between the areas as They were also unable to pay for a meeting room when well as over time and therefore complicate the work of they had their consultations with moose management participants in the moose management group. units. In addition, according to several respondents, extra The administrative problems are particularly prevalent resources are also needed at the initial stage to inform, in Västra Götaland and Kronoberg, where the moose educate and communicate about the new management management groups have not been provided with digita- system. lised maps and the internet support has not worked as it is The financial constraints are an obvious obstacle, but supposed to. Technical assistants are crucial to make EBM the main problem seems to be unclear responsibilities work and facilitate AM according to the participants. about who is supposed to fund different forms of monitor- ing methods. According to the participants, this must be solved as soon as possible since the new AM system rests 5.1.5. Organisation on different types of monitoring methods to help set and Two main approaches can be detected through consider- achieve management goals. If this is not carried out prop- ing how the different counties have chosen to initiate the erly, then the new management system will fail due to lack work with the new moose management system. One of sufficient knowledge. approach is where the county administrative board (the ‘top’ of the management structure, see Figure 1) starts the process by developing a management plan for the 5.1.3. Time whole county which is supposed to guide the moose management areas and moose management units in their All respondents, independent of county, stated that work- work. The other approach is where the management plans ing with the new management system has taken much of the moose management units (the ‘bottom’ of the more effort and time than they had anticipated. Yet, they management structure) and the moose management hope that the amount of time they need to invest in the areas (the new ‘bridging’ level of the management struc- system will decrease when it is fully implemented and has ture) adds up to a plan for the whole county. Since been running for one or two years. This was especially felt landscape-level planning is one central attribute of by the participants with fulltime jobs who engage in the EBM, is it crucial that the organisation support sustain- moose management group in their spare time. They felt able collaborations when the management plans are that the work need to be less time-taking in the future in developed (see also Selman 2004). order for them to continue their engagement in the moose In Västerbotten, there is an explicit wish from the management group (time thus also relate to their willing- county administrative board to apply a bottom-up ness to engage). approach in the work. The moose management units’ Another aspect in which participants felt that more time plans add to the moose management area plan, which was needed was based on the timeframe in which the new combined with the four other moose management areas management system was to be implemented. The vast plans will be the base for the overarching goals and majority felt that the implementation process has gone too visions for the whole county: fast and as a consequence the moose hunt in the fall of 2012 had not been fully managed in accordance with the new AM …some counties have already developed a regional plan system. Statements such as, ‘[we] were forced to launch with goals for the county that should guide the moose something that was not ready’ (Forest manager, Dalarna) management areas and the moose management units. We and, ‘it felt a bit rushed, there was too little time’ stated early on that we wanted it to emerge from the other (Landowner, Västerbotten) were often voiced and no side, so the moose management units, the ones we have now, their plans are the basis for the moose management respondent claimed to have had enough time. The desire areas plans which should be developed by the end of this for more time referred to needing more knowledge and year. And then, if you look at them and add up, you get education concerning the strengths and limitations of the what could be a vision for the whole county. We think this new moose management system, as well as finding appro- process will be more natural, rather than setting a goal for priate structures for collective action within the moose the county that may not be locally accepted. (Wildlife manager, Västerbotten) management areas. 234 T. Bjärstig et al. In Dalarna, they have decided to work in the opposite way, moose management groups, it is generally an individual in more of a top-down approach, for their development of that has a genuine, personal interest in hunting, ecology the management plan. The goals and visions for the and/or forestry and believes that through engaging, s/he county’s overall moose management were decided by the has a chance to influence the new management system in a delegation for wildlife management. This decision has positive way. then guided the work with the management plans in the Both landowners and hunters feel positively towards moose management areas and moose management units. EBM and see it as a functional tool that will benefit their The decision to start off by developing a plan for the interests in the long run. Nearly all respondents in all whole county was contested: counties considered the management of moose in larger geographical areas important, and felt that taking a holistic The stumbling block was pretty much that they had dif- landscape approach was better than the use of smaller ferent views on whether it should come from below or management units. This is in line with EBM that call for from above. In particular, there were comments from the expanding the spatial and temporal scale for planning and Hunters Association in which they said that they really management, with ecologically relevant boundaries (rather wanted the overall regional strategy to come from below, than traditional administrative/political borders) such as from the local moose management units’ plans. “…” the next time we heard about it, it was decided on in (Grumbine 1994; Yaffee 2011). the delegation for wildlife management. (Forest manager, This belief was not shared exclusively by all partici- Dalarna) pants. A hunter from Västerbotten said, ‘Now local deci- sions are located even further away’ and a hunter from This top-down approach has had implications on the imple- Dalarna was even more sceptical: ‘I can't see any positive mentation process. Some of the participants from Dalarna felt value in this new system at all’. unconnected to the implementation process. They felt that they had been overlooked in the process of developing the management plans. In one particular case, the moose manage- 5.2.2. Official duty and professional role ment group rejected some of the moose management units The members in the moose management groups often plans since they felt that they were not accurate, while the have dual roles. For instance, landowners often hunt county administrative board approved the plans without any and vice versa. This can be helpful in terms of each dialogue with the moose management group. One respondent groups understanding another's interests and viewpoints. in the management group explained the process like this: Moreover, it is often easier to reach consensus and avoid voting on issues. The danger in this, according to some We have provided comments and been available for con- of the interviewees, is that the hunting interest has a sultations. But they [the county administrative board] have tendency to become predominant within the group. not given a damn about it, and they have not given us any Among the landowner representatives, many have feedback as to why they decided not to [listen to us]. Rather, they just overlooked us completely. There has moose management as an integrated part of their regular not been any dialogue whatsoever. (Hunter, Dalarna) work at a forest company. Some landowner representa- tives are engaged in several moose management areas The interviewed wildlife manager in Dalarna does not men- and can be considered a kind of ‘expert’ in the moose tion this particular incident even if this is one of our hypothe- management groups in terms of their professional role. tical questions that was asked to display the participant’sview This may also help with the implementation process (see regarding the divisions of roles and responsibilities. Further, Lundquist 1987). the interviews with the moose management group members The respondents generally had a positive view on the were conducted after the interview with the wildlife manager, increased participation and collaboration between hunters thus we have not been able to verify this. and landowners. Additionally, respondents in all counties In Västra Götaland and Södermanland, the process has emphasised that increased cooperation between hunters also been initiated from the ‘top’ since it is the delegations for and landowners was important in order to trust wildlife management who have decided on the plans for the management. whole counties as an initial step. The participants are then supposed to adjust to these plans in their work, which is 5.2.3. Just and fair described as a ‘problem’ by a landowner in Södermanland. If the management system is perceived as unjust and/or ineffective within a county, it can affect the participant’s 5.2. Willingness willingness to implement the new AM system. Respondents 5.2.1. Personal interest and a positive view on the new in Södermanland expressed some disaffection since they management system believe that the new moose management system is not suitable for the particular conditions in Södermanland. All There are several ways to capture the actor’s willingness to participants in this county pointed to the importance of co- implement the new moose management system. If we managing other deer and ungulate species along with begin by looking at the individual representative in the International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 235 Södermanland. We hope to change it to ungulate manage- moose. As mentioned earlier, the rise of harvest fees (now ment areas rather than just moose management areas. Or it almost twice as high) is also perceived to affect the will- should be called wildlife management areas because the ingness of the participants in Södermanland, and has caused moose are not alone… One must take the total ungulate irritation and a lack of motivation to engage in the new population into account, at least here and in Östergötland moose management system. Many hunters have now turned and Skåne, where the wildlife is abundant. (Wildlife man- ager, Södermanland) their interest towards red deer (Cervus elaphus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). These game provide a lot of meat and are The hope of managing the moose on an ecosystem-level exciting to hunt, but most importantly – it has no harvest instead of following administrative borders has not been fees, all according to the respondents in Södermanland. easy to implement. The moose management areas follow the boundaries of parishes, game management units, 5.3. Understanding municipalities, counties or roads and streams and fences since it seems to be most convenient way, due to tradi- 5.3.1. The management concept tions and old structures. In Södermanland, the delegation The new moose management system is built upon the for wildlife management decided to work for an estab- premises that it is adaptive, locally based, knowledge- lishment of 9 moose management areas, roughly the based and ecosystem-based. The participants emphasised same areas that the 10 game management units cover, different aspects of the system and it is clear that the term since: ‘they had worked before, and they will work now’ ‘local’ within the management concept created confusion according to the wildlife manager in Södermanland. as to where the power actually lies. There are many reasons behind the chosen number of For instance, monitoring responsibilities were per- moose management areas (see Figure 3 for the numbers ceived as unclear among the majority of the respon- in each county) and their borders. It is not always the dents. The main emphasis of responsibility which ecosystem/moose population that has been the major concerns implementation, interpretation and evaluation factor. For instance, regional context and practical con- of monitoring activities is with the moose management siderations seems to have influenced the decisions at the group at respective moose management area. The moose initial stage, but several participants have requested management units are required by regulations to parti- adjusting the borders and the numbers of moose manage- cipate in monitoring (NFS 2011:7). Monitoring authority ment areas in the future. is ambiguous because the county administrative board, who holds the decision-making power (SOU 2009:54), refer back to the moose management area, although they 5.3.2. Unclear roles, responsibilities and regulations lack the control and authority of decision making and As stated before, there is an ambiguity as to who should cannot demand monitoring participation from any provide the management (and who should pay for it). moose management unit. It is also unclear whether the Furthermore, unclear roles and management responsibil- moose management unit participation refers to all mon- ities among those involved have also been identified as a itoring activities or whether they can choose among problem by the participants. The moose management suggested actions. Several respondents' apprehension is groups in all counties have a great responsibility, yet that the vagueness of management responsibility might there was a lot of confusion by the interviewed officials undermine the purpose and role of the moose manage- and moose management group members concerning their ment areas. actual role and level of authority. Despite the ecosystem-based approach in the new The general view among the respondents in the five management system, it mainly focuses on moose. This counties was that the moose management groups lacked has been contested by several of the participants since the tools and authority to demand participation from they do not agree with a single species management sys- moose management units or lower management levels in tem. In the three counties with established populations of the monitoring activities. Moreover, three respondents large carnivores (Västerbotten, Dalarna and Västra claimed that the real authority belongs to the hunters in Götaland), knowledge of carnivore population sizes and the forest: predation will constitute an important component when defining management plans. A hunter representative in …the ones who actually control the implementation of the Dalarna emphasised: ‘They are intimately connected. new moose management system are the individual hunters You cannot only manage a single species.’ Similar com- and the hunting team. They decide if they want to hunt or ments were made in Södermanland, where it is felt that red not, if they want to shoot, and what to shoot. (Forest deer should be co-managed with moose to create a more manager, Västerbotten) holistic ecosystem approach rather than single species management: The licence areas that cover parts of many moose manage- ment areas across all counties were mentioned as another The moose do not cause such huge [browsing damages] difficulty. This is due to the fact that they are not obliged alone, but it's the total ungulate pressure that we see in to follow any moose management plan or participate in 236 T. Bjärstig et al. monitoring activities and hence risk counteracting or inter- participant’s abilities, willingness and understanding to fering with the moose management units or moose man- implement the new management system through colla- agement areas’ plans. borative partnerships. Another example is that the SFA’s expertise role is not To start with the organisational aspects, the work clarified in the regulations, and the forest managers would needed to establish the new system was initially very like to see the SFA’s role included in the new administra- time-taking. Another aspect which was highlighted as tion and that they formally become a part of the delegation problematic was insufficient monitoring activities and for wildlife management and/or formally involved in the data. Yet, the participants believe that it will be less work with the management plans. Along with this, the demanding as soon as the administrative, practical and representatives in the moose management areas would technical issues are settled, which will make it possible like to know what obligations the SFA has when it to focus on the collaborative partnership as well as on comes to providing the moose management group with monitoring and management on a landscape level. data and monitoring browsing damage. However, it is perceived as more problematic that the management system with regard to monitoring activities is underfunded. According to the participants, increased 5.3.3. Training and education harvest fees are not the answer and other solutions must be All participants in the moose management areas have got found. If the funding issue remains unsolved, it has the some form of basic training and education on the new potential to hamper the implementation of the new adap- adaptive moose management system. Yet, several of the tive and partnership-based moose management system on interviewed participants admit that they do not fully a landscape level. A shared responsibility regarding fund- understand the new management system, and they ing and monitoring processes between landowners and would benefit from more practical training, such as how hunters was suggested. Since this study was made, there to write management plans and how to conduct different has been an ongoing discussion on this matter, and the forms of monitoring activities. Others stated that they forestry sector has now agreed on how browsing damage have a complete understanding of the management sys- inventories will be financed in the future. From 2015 they tem, but were unable to describe how the new manage- will pay for a model which means that the southern and ment system is organised and how it is supposed to northern Sweden are inventoried alternately. One stum- work, when we asked them. Furthermore, a few of bling stock seems thus to be solved, but the policymakers them could not grasp the meaning of ‘adaptive manage- still need to clarify the roles and responsibilities among the ment’ when asked to define it. In general, more informa- involved participants at the different management levels, tion and training on the new moose management system where the role of SFA should be more explicitly stated and is needed, since there seems to be inconsistent under- preferably formally integrated in to the new management standing between the participants. There are large varia- system. The policymakers should also discuss the future tions in the understanding among the management levels. role of license areas, since they have the potential to In particular, the representatives in the moose manage- hamper the new moose management system if not prop- ment units are perceived to require more education and erly integrated in the process. training, but there is also an appeal for an overall Perhaps the uncertainties of responsibility and funding increase in competence. The representatives of the would have been resolved if more time had been provided moose management groups, as well as and the wildlife before fully implementing the new moose management. managers on county administrative board level, would However in AM, uncertainties must be taken for granted also benefit from more education and training, according and the objectives that remain seen as opportunities to to several of the participants: learn and adapt for the future (Allen et al. 2011). In this respect, the work of MMAs will be crucial since they are There’s a pretty big need for follow-up training, actually. supposed to re-evaluate their management plans annually We had a basic training that the SLU [the Swedish and revise them every three years which feed directly into University of Agricultural Sciences] carried out. Then, the adaptive process. when you look at the moose management plans here in In general, a bottom-up approach (where the moose the county that we are working with, few people can read management units plans add up to a regional plan, them, in a way, or what should I say… [few people] can make a plan and understand the significance of various rather than the opposite way) seems to achieve more parameters to achieve the goal you have for the moose local acceptance. This was however supported by other population. (Wildlife manager, Kronoberg) aspects such as extensive knowledge of browsing damage, the moose populations and relatively few moose management areas such as in Västerbotten. 6. Concluding discussion While in the county of Dalarna, a top-down approach Implementing an adaptive local moose management sys- in combination with the presence of large carnivores tem which combines an ecosystem-based approach, and (e.g. wolves and brown bears), difficulties in establish- which allows for collaboration, is challenging. The empiri- ing cross boarder collaboration and having to deal with cal findings show several ambiguities regarding the multiple moose management areas have made it difficult International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 237 to implement the new management system. The pre- conflicts between the different levels. If these fundamental sence of other ungulate species, like in Södermanland, problems are not solved, it has the potential to harm the has also been a challenge, and this is perceived to robustness of the partnerships, and the partnerships poten- hamper the implementation process. This is truly an tial to truly engage in and implement EBM. As mentioned inherent contradiction, since EBM imply a step away initially, EBM includes three central attributes (landscape- from single spice management, the moose management level planning, collaboration with stakeholders/partner- should therefore include other ungulates, boars as well ships and adaptive and flexible implementation), where as carnivores and try to adjust to ecological boarders the role of the partnerships is key to successfully imple- rather than the administrative ones in the future. Several ment the other central attributes. respondents claimed that the new management system is If we turn to theoretical insights, this study clearly best fitted for the counties in the northern parts of shows the usefulness of combining public policy and Sweden, and that it over time must be adjusted to, or implementation theory with experiences of ecosystem- aloud for more flexible implementation in the counties based management to understand how institutional and with other conditions (i.e. spatial variations). organisational aspects as well as attitudes and perceptions As stated previously, the realisation of the new moose may lead to success or failure of a new management management system depends not only on the involved system. A focus on the initial phase or the formative actors’ abilities. Their willingness and understanding moment of the management process, as in this case, also towards implementing EBM must also be considered offers the opportunity to correct and adapt the manage- (Lundquist 1987; Yaffee 2011). This study indicates that ment system to both contextual factors but also to unfore- the landowners and hunters seem to be willing to carry out seen problems. In other words, it is not only the the implementation of the new moose management system. management of ecological resources that has to be adap- Positive factors which affect the participant’s motivation tive; adaptiveness also needs to include organisational and were based on their professional role, a personal interest institutional aspects in particular in the early stages of and engagement in moose management, as well as the pos- implementation. Aspects which are often neglected in the sibility that the new management systems were perceived as literature on ecosystem-based management. a better way to care for populations of moose while experi- The three components elaborate upon in this study (the encing less browsing damage in the future. participant’s abilities, willingness and understanding) has When it came to the participant’s understanding, they proved very useful since they capture the involved stake- in general seemed to grasp the overall meaning of EBM. holders’ views on organisational as well as institutional However, the main problem was the unclear roles and aspects. Since partnerships involving public and private responsibilities among those involved, which may become actors are becoming key institutional pathways to the clearer when the management system has been running for governance of natural resources, these aspects are impor- some time. 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International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management – Taylor & Francis
Published: Jul 3, 2014
Keywords: ecosystem; adaptive management; moose management areas; implementation; partnership; Sweden
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