The concept of resilience is an important one in conservation science and resource management. However, the term itself is often poorly understood, or understood differently by different parties, with potentially troublesome effects for land managers, researchers, and others.
Writing in BioScience, Dr. Phillip Higuera (University of Montana), Dr. Alex Metcalf (University of Montana), and their colleagues suggest that a more holistic framework would consider the crucial human element of social-ecological systems. By doing so, managers could work toward outcomes that best fit the ecological needs and human priorities inherent in the system. The work they describe here is focused on fire-prone landscapes, but the approach is broadly applicable across a range of systems.