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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Philosophical foundations and conceptual bases of administrative procedures of multiple use management of natural resources Smith, David Anthony


In attempting to determine the background to the controversial term "multiple use," it was deemed necessary to briefly examine preceding social behaviour and legislation. A brief study of early European agricultural practices, through to the Industrial Revolution, allows an insight into the rural background of the early immigrants to North America. The Conservation Movement of the early 1900s was a result of socially unacceptable exploitation of natural resources and dissatisfaction with the American governments' methods of land disposal in the name of "progress." The rapid demise of the Movement is attributed to its failure to produce practical guidelines for resource management. Subsequent resource development in North America has been fragmentary; a major cause of inefficiency and a disregard for social implications. The definition of "multiple use" that appeared in the 1960 Act, like the principles of the Conservation Movement, relied on platitudes rather than practicalities. The goals of multiple use are examined, and a new definition is proposed, as is the substitution of "integrated resource management" for the shibboleth of "multiple use." The history of the development of Canada's resources parallels that of the United States. Yet because of the smallness of the population in relation to the size of the country, the exhaustibility of natural resources has been barely contemplated. Serious public concern for the manner in which Canadian resources are being managed is only of recent occurrence. The responsibility for integrated resource management lies with provincial governments. Except for the United States Forest Service, the case studies conclusively show that the biggest obstacles to the implementation of integrated resource management, are of a political nature. Some techniques of economics that pertain to the allocation and distribution of wealth generated by natural resources are examined. While none of these are entirely satisfactory, Benefit-Cost Analysis is proposed as a possible first step toward better control of resource development. In including man and his social structures within its deliberations, the discipline of ecology gains sounder foundations for analyzing the effects of resource management on society. The application of systems analysis to such complex ecological problems has great potential in allowing management strategies to be explored before being implemented. A hypothetical model is developed in which systems analysis is used to effect integrated resource management. Such a form of management presently remains as an ideal because of existing governmental, and industrial relations. Since voluntary cooperation for the public welfare appears unlikely in the near future, research will be needed to determine at which level of government to establish a department, whose function will be that of integrating resource management.

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