Date of Award:

8-2013

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

English

Committee Chair(s)

Keith Grant-Davie

Committee

Keith Grant-Davie

Committee

John McLaughlin

Committee

Rebecca Walton

Committee

Mark Brunson

Committee

David Hailey

Abstract

This study is a rhetorical analysis of strategic communication in the Amalga Barrens wetlands controversy during the 1990s. The Bridgerland Audubon Society (BAS) in Cache Valley, Utah, was able to influence a change in public policy that removed the unique wetlands from consideration as a possible reservoir site for water taken from the Bear River. BAS led a successful grassroots effort by being civil, targeting specific individuals who had influence with the Utah legislature, focusing less on the environment and more on cost arguments that mattered to decision-makers, creating a portfolio of arguments grounded in scientific and economic data, and educating the community. BAS’s experience may be helpful to other environmental groups that are trying to lead efforts in their own communities. Although the strategies presented cannot be generalized to fit all groups and situations, they may serve as a starting point.

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