This article examines adaptive resource management as it has been applied to the US horseshoe crab fishery over the past decade. As a critical yet constructive exercise, I have three goals: to suggest how adaptive management, for all its promise, can still be improved; to add a nuanced case study to the literatures on the quantification of nature and environmental decision-making; and to use the example of ARM to make certain temporal aspects of contemporary natural resource management more salient to science and technology studies scholars—that is, to show the ways in which time matters in environmental science, policy, and the analysis thereof. I draw attention to the time-related aspects of adaptive management by developing the notions of temporal orientation and chronological accountability. Temporal orientation refers to the time-based perspectives and epistemological commitments—that is, past-facing empiricism versus future-oriented modeling—that scientists of different types bring to bear on environmental problems. Chronological accountability refers to the missing link in adaptive forms of environmental governance: firm time lines and commitments to reflexively revisit management decisions. The time-related aspects of natural resource management deserve greater attention among both environmental managers and analysts of environmental policy.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243918794035
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