Conflict over public land management : Oregon's Elk River dispute Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0z709032g

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  • Conflict over the management of public lands has increased markedly in the recent past. Forest Service personnel are responsible for making decisions about land allocations that are controversial and engender debate. This is a case study examining a conflict over the management of the Elk River drainage on the Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon to determine the underlying issues in the debate. Individual perceptions of the controversy were collected through a series of interviews with the parties involved in the conflict and representatives of the community. A comparative analysis was conducted and responses were examined for similarities and dissimilarities. Similar responses were categorized to reflect the views of the respondents. A review of the literature provided additional insight into conflict theory. Data supported two hypotheses, two were not supported, and two were partially supported. Four issues emerged as recurring throughout the discussion. Those issues are: the organizational problem of having an action that is functional at one level and dysfunctional at another, the failure of Forest Service respondents to recognize the environmental constituency as legitimate, the use of circular logic by Forest Service employees to justify their decisions, and the lack of an effective means of incorporating public input.
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