Buzz Holling

    DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart in British Columbia: A Tribute to Buzz Holling” released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in October 2021

    Buzz Holling had profound and far-reaching influence during his lifetime, having made major contributions to the theory of predation, the concept of ecological resilience, the concept of panarchy, and adaptive management. “The only way to approach such a period — where uncertainty is very large and one cannot predict what the future holds – is not to predict, but to act inventively and exuberantly in diverse, adventures in living and experiment,” said Buzz Holling. One of his talents was his ability to bring people together to understand, assess and act on new solutions to complex problems of people and nature.

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    2ND ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ON PLANNING FOR RESILIENCE: “Inspired by Buzz Holling, BC’s Stormwater Guidebook established an adaptive management precedent. A decade later, Buzz and I had a reflective conversation after his keynote address at UBC. He further inspired me,” stated Kim Stephens when he represented the Water Sustainability Action Plan as a panel member on Uncertain Water Supplies (March 2010)

    “My first contact with Buzz Holling was in 1999. An assignment for King County allowed me to delve into the origins of adaptive management, and research experience around the world. Specifically, we were looking for a local government precedent, and there was none. This led me to phone Buzz,” stated Kim Stephens. “In 1999, my Aha Moment was realizing that our cross-border response to the ‘salmon crisis’ in the Pacific Northwest paralleled the efforts of Buzz Holling related to Florida Everglades Restoration.”

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    FLASHBACK TO 2010: “A vision with a task is the hope of the world,” stated Kim Stephens in his panel presentation about Uncertain Water Supplies at the 2nd Annual Symposium on Planning for Resilience hosted by the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning

    “Time and time again in my career, I have seen how we create layers of complexity around assumptions. Take any kind of an issue, drill down or peel back the layers of the onion, until you get to the simple assumption. So often, experience shows, the assumption is flawed. If you ask a different question, you may get a different answer,” stated Kim Stephens. “Too often, we seem to lose sight of the fact that the future is unpredictable. Part of that may be resulting from our increasing dependence on computers. They are great but computers are not a substitute for judgment.”

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