Two Roads Converge in a Yellow Wood: The Merging of Ecofeminism and Ecological Economics in Land Management Practices of the Pacific Northwest Open Access
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This project explores the uses of a new method of research in the field of ecological economics. It was developed by Friend. She developed what she calls a "policy compass', and adapted it to ecological economics. The data from a table is represented in a completely aggregated form as one arrow on a compass with three general qualities: harmony, suppression and excitement. We then get a very general picture of where an institution finds itself with respect to the three qualities. Institutional policy can then address problems by looking at the compass and reflecting on the table of data. This project explores an adaptation of the policy compass for ecofeminism. The institution being investigated through the lens of the compass is the land management practices of Washington State and British Columbia, two ecologically similar locations managed under different governmental structures. The policy compass is used to measure the success of land-preservation institutions from an ecological economics perspective and from the perspective of ecofeminism. The central goal of this project is to advocate for ecological land management practices and land conservation, by adapting the compass to reflect both perspectives. For ecofeminists it is crucial that natural environments should be maintained in something like a natural state and that all people should have access to it without changing it too much. My ecofeminist framework is built upon the ideas that one's organic identity is unhealthily distorted and challenged within the context of society, and the built-up urban environment. I use the term "organic identity' to refer to the gender identity that is naturally occurring. From a modern perspective that ignores ecofeminism and ecological economics, we ignore the fact that society exists within, and is subject to, the natural world. In contrast, from an ecofeminist and ecological economics perspective, we should live in harmony with nature, and not over regulate it. To support my position, I construct two policy compasses, one is the adaptation to ecofeminism and the other is the adaptation to ecological economics. This research serves as an example of a way to apply ecofeminism to the field of ecological economics. It also explores the uses of a new methodology that can be adopted in many forms of interdisciplinary research.