Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Rangeland Ecology & Management


Society for Range Management

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Maintaining healthy rangeland ecosystems requires adaptive co-management at the landscape scale. Because the majority of western rangelands are publicly owned, it is critical that federal land management agencies work together in generating and sharing information. Promotion and communication of rangeland management innovations among agencies is one means of sharing information. Two rangeland management innovations, the Weather-Centric Restoration Tool and Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health, were studied in order to better understand agency adoption decisions and barriers to diffusion of the innovations across agencies. Using a mixed qualitative methodology, we interviewed land managers across the floristic Great Basin and in southeastern Utah responsible for making or advising rangeland management decisions. Using thematic analysis of participant interviews and land managers’ social networks in southeastern Utah, we were able to identify variables at the innovation, individual, organization, and external system levels that affect innovation adoption and diffusion across agencies. In line with previous research, desirable innovation traits were related to five constructs: complexity, relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, and observability. Interagency siloing was found to be the biggest factor affecting individual and organization-level adoption decisions. External sociopolitical factors were also found to create organization-level barriers including funding streams, legal considerations, and differing institutional cultures between agencies. While management innovations are hindered by these hurdles, innovations also serve as promoters of institutional change that reshape these constraints. However, overcoming barriers to innovation requires the presence of innovation champions who can influence both incremental bottom-up and top-down processes.