Conservation-Preservation

The concepts of conservation and preservation typically are used to differentiate between forms of human management and use of renewable resources (e.g., forests, fisheries, many sources of water). While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably in public discussions, environment-related fields carefully deploy these words to refer to particular management regimes for renewable resources. The difference between conservation and preservation is said to be important because these are the “major ideological camps . . . which still dominate debates over natural resources today” (Cutter and Renwick 2004, 41).

“Conservation” (sometimes also described as the “utilitarian approach” in environmental history, or as “resource conservation” in the UK) typically refers to use within certain biological limits, or within the annual growth increment of a particular resource (McManus 2000). In the case of forests or fisheries, this annual growth increment is also referred to as the “sustainable yield” or “maximum sustainable yield” (Dana and …

This essay may be found on page 41 of the printed volume.

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