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2001 Controversy
Science Policy




Center for Science and Technology Policy Research

The Klamath Basin Project

Increasingly, science plays a role, not in facilitating resolution of natural resource issues by providing information that can be used by policy-makers, but as a way for politicians and policy-makers to avoid making difficult decisions and for stakeholders to retard implementation of management decisions. The hook often used is that the science is unclear, or wrong, or lacking—in effect the science is uncertain. The result has increasingly been crisis-driven scientific assessments that may distort or overshadow the underlying policy conflict and that may exacerbate the conflict by implying that science can resolve the issue.  This trend is illustrated in the controversy over water and fish that has gripped the Klamath Basin since 2001, the focus of this project.

This project was undertaken by Anne Ruggles as part of an externship through the University of Colorado School of Law. Anne was supervised by Roger Pielke, Jr., and Bobbie Klein of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. The Center provided office space and web support for the project.

For more information contact:
Anne Ruggles - aruggles@igc.org
Bobbie Klein - bklein@colorado.edu