Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Natural Resources

Committee

Mark W. Brunson

Committee

Jacopo A. Baggio

Committee

Jordan W. Smith

Abstract

Public rangelands are managed by a mixture of federal, state, and local governments. Often, these groups are charged with managing adjacent lands that are part of the same greater landscape. To do this effectively, communication and collaboration is required. This dissertation examines federal, state, and local agencies’ level of communication through three projects.

The first project examined barriers to agencies adopting management tools from each other. I found that individuals within agencies were mainly staying within their own agency when seeking advice, so individuals were not communicating about tools or their findings across agencies. Furthermore, agency policies and fear of being sued restricted individuals’ ability to adopt management tools. The second project studied how land and wildlife managers in Southeastern Utah work together, or not, in managing mule deer populations that migrate to and from land managed by different agencies. I found that managers are working together to manage mule deer populations, but there are only a few individuals that tie everyone together. The third project looked at how federal, state, and local governments work together to rehabilitate lands after a wildfire that burned parts of Southwestern Idaho and Southeastern Oregon. I found that policy decisions at the federal level can heavily impact who works together and when.

All three projects revealed that there are still barriers to federal, state, and local governments working together to manage the same landscape. However, the results from this dissertation also highlight opportunities for bridging the gap between agencies and, ultimately, improving management of rangelands.

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