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Building Consensus for Constructive Action: A Study of Perspectives on Natural Resource Management

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This study investigates the subjective perspectives of participants in natural resource management for the purpose of overcoming gridlock and persistent conflict. Our results indicate that participants share many beliefs about the descriptive aspects of science and the contingency of knowledge. However, substantial and real disagreement persists regarding what roles science, expertise, politics, and values ought to play in the planning process. This study uses two patterns of perspectives derived from case studies, scientific management and adaptive governance as a basis for investigating subjective perspectives. Based on these theoretical perspectives, we developed a Q sort, presented it to respondents, and cluster analyzed their rankings to investigate actual and perceived differences in beliefs. The information about perspectives generated by this study can help managers overcome persistent conflict by identifying issues for consensus building as well as highlighting areas of actual conflict.

Keywords: adaptive management; collaborative stewardship; community based; decisionmaking; science policy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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