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Adaptive Management

Adaptive Management is a structured approach to resource management. Through this iterative process, managers and scientists team together to improve resource management over time by learning from management outcomes. Adaptive Management entails a multi-step process:
1. Considering various actions to meet management objectives;
2. Predicting the outcomes of these management actions based on what is currently known;
3. Implementing management actions;
4. Monitoring to observe the results of those actions; and
5. Using the results to update knowledge and adjust future management actions accordingly.
By repeating this cycle and increasing to the body of knowledge about the system in question, managers are able to refine their prescriptions to more closely meet the original objectives.

USGS scientists cooperate with land management agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service to develop and utilize adaptive management strategies and tools.

To learn more about Adaptive Management within the Department of the Interior, visit


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