Evaluation, reformulation, and application of the Vroom-Yetton model to select public involvement methods for the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest near Corvallis, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6q182n781

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  • Western society's ongoing cultural shift toward quality of life values and associated increased public participation expectations affects forest managers. The rapid urban growth experienced by the U.S. is increasing both the area of the urban-forest interface zone and the number of residents residing in that zone. The study site of McDonald-Dunn Research Forest (the Forest), administered by the Oregon State University College of Forestry, represents a microcosm of the conflicts facing urban-forest managers. The 14,000 acre Forest is located less than 1/4 mile from the city of Corvallis, Oregon, which has a population of 49,000. In response to increasing urbanization pressures and the associated uses and values, Forest managers are seeking methods for improving communication processes with Corvallis-area residents. However, determining the conditions under which public involvement is sought and the specific techniques that are employed remain problematic. The thesis critiques the Vroom-Yetton contingency decision-making model developed for use in the private business setting. Use of the model to assist decision makers determine which public participation process, if any, to use for a given issue within the urban-forest interface area is examined. The conclusion is that the majority of the criteria developed in the business setting for evaluating effectiveness of increased participation apply in the public forestry setting as well. However, criteria for the inclusion of value judgements and identification of the "public interest" are noticeably absent in the Vroom-Yetton model, thereby limiting its direct application. Wording and model changes are suggested in the Vroom-Yetton decision tree in light of the increased complexity of the "publics" and the lack of a "corporate vision" held by the publics in the forest management setting. Conflict management, systems planning, and social learning literature is utilized in developing those wording and model changes. Recommendations are offered for implementation of the model on the Forest.
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