Although many environmental policy issues remain deadlocked for decades with little movement, sometimes breakthroughs occur abruptly. Why do deadlocks persist? Why do major policy shifts occur infrequently? Is it possible to judge when policies are ripe for change? This book presents new empirical evidence that the punctuated equilibrium theory of policy dynamics fits the facts of environmental policy change and can explain how stable policies can suddenly unravel in discontinuous change. The distinguished contributors to the volume apply the theory to a wide range of important environmental and resource issues and assess case histories in water, forestry, fisheries, public lands, energy and climate, some of which resulted in breakthroughs, others in stalemate. They offer insights into the political conditions and tactics that are likely to produce these disparate outcomes. Every professional, activist, and student concerned with promoting (or resisting) change in environmental and natural resources policies will find this up-to-date book an invaluable guide.