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Institutions for Managing Resilient Salmon (Oncorhynchus Spp.) Ecosystems: the Role of Incentives and Transaction Costs

Susan S Hanna, Oregon State University


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Institutions are the mechanisms that integrate the human and ecological spheres. This paper discusses the institutional challenge of integrating salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) ecosystems and human systems in ways that effectively promote resilience. Salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin demonstrates the challenge. Despite the comprehensive scope of Basin salmon management, it has a number of problems that illustrate the difficulties of designing institutions for ecosystem and human system resilience. The critical elements of salmon ecosystem management are incentives and transaction costs, and these comprise a large piece of missing institutional infrastructure. Once the focus is placed on incentives and costs, a number of different management strategies emerge as options for salmon ecosystems, including refugia, property rights to ecosystem goods and services, co-management, and markets in ecosystem services.

Key words

Columbia River Basin; ecosystems; human systems; incentives; institutions; resilience; salmon; transaction costs
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087