U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Environmental Management (2011) 48:392–399 DOI 10.1007/s00267-011-9693-5


The concept of resilience is now frequently invoked by natural resource agencies in the US. This reflects growing trends within ecology, conservation biology, and other disciplines acknowledging that social–ecological systems require management approaches recognizing their complexity. In this paper, we examine the concept of resilience and the manner in which some legal and regulatory frameworks governing federal natural resource agencies have difficulty accommodating it. We then use the U.S. Forest Service’s employment of resilience as an illustration of the challenges ahead.