"The Intention Was Good": Legitimacy, Consensus-Based Decision Making, and the Case of Forest Planning in British Columbia, Canada
The introduction of public participation into land and resource management planning in the Canadian province of British Columbia represents a unique application of alternative dispute resolution theory. Portentous in its scope and inclusivity, this case provides an opportunity to evaluate large-scale consensus decision-making processes within natural resources planning and management. Qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews, conducted from September 1997 to July 1998, revealed one overarching theme reflecting important issues and concerns to respondents: legitimacy. From respondents' perspectives, a successful public planning process must have fair representation, appropriate government resources, and be consensus driven--the three components of legitimacy. According to respondents, a legitimate planning process is a successful one. This observation has important implications for public policymakers involved in resource planning and for theorists and researchers working in this area as well.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-01-01