Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Conflict and cooperation at the public-private interface : a case study of fire management in eastern Oregon

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  • Cooperation across ownership boundaries is critical to most conservation efforts in mixed ownership landscapes. Where owner objectives vary widely, as at public-private landownership boundaries, cooperation can be especially challenging. This research explores the opportunities and challenges for cooperative fire management among public and private forest managers in the John Day Valley of Eastern Oregon, an arid and fire-dependent region dominated by large federal ownerships and private ranches. Project objectives are to: (1) describe and analyze the historical context of fire management, and (2) describe and analyze current perspectives toward cooperative fire management among land managers. Field methods include in-depth interviews, participant observation, and participatory action research activities. Methods of data analysis consist of theoretical coding and document analysis. This research suggests that building the trusting relationships that are required for cross-boundary cooperation it made difficult by the existence of a complex web of land tenure considerations, differential ideologies, power inequities, and a sense of uncertainty produced by social change.
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