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A role for stakeholder objectives in USDA Forest Service plan revisions: A case study on the White River National Forest

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In August 1999, The White River National Forest, headquartered in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA, released a draft revised forest plan, engendering almost immediate and widespread controversy. This paper describes steps taken prior to release of the final plan to reduce the controversy by linking stakeholder objectives to plan alternatives. Information from three surveys and public comments was analyzed to characterize stakeholder objectives. A series of public meetings was conducted to validate the objectives and provide information needed to develop an objectives hierarchy, which was used to characterize means objectives that were linked to alternative plans, using associated attributes. A key finding was that stakeholders align their objectives for forest management with one of two schools of thought; one having an ecosystem conservation orientation and the other, a human use/economic sustainability orientation. The final plan, released in June 2002 received a greater level of positive reaction in the media and elsewhere.

Keywords: Stakeholder objectives; cluster analysis; decision analysis; national forest planning; objectives hierarchies

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins CO, USA 2: Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO, USA 3: Region 2, USDA Forest Service, Denver CO, USA 4: White River National Forest, Glenwood Springs, CO, USA

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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