Managing Local Environmental Conflict Amidst National Controversy
International Journal of Conflict Management
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The recent impasse over federal forest management in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States has been a living laboratory of conflict and its management, and provides the context for this case study. While most of the media attention has been focused on regional or national events such as President Clinton's Forest Conference of April 1993, a larger number of localized conflicts have shaped the controversy at the grassroots level. This case study focuses on a pivotal meeting in one such conflict: the Shasta Costa planning process. Outside intervenors mediated the meeting, and USDA Forest Service personnel, timber industry representatives, and environmentalists participated Participant observation and a supplemental survey led to the following conclusions: (1) measures of standing (the legal and social basis for legitimate participation) differed between the industry and environmental representatives, (2) reliance on science differed between groups, and (3) the process was not able to overcome a power imbalance. These findings suggest that there may be little hope for local dispute efforts if there is substantial policy uncertainty at the national level. Implications for managing forestry conflict in the region are discussed.
Daniels, S.E. and G.B. Walker. 1995. Managing local environmental conflict amidst national controversy. International Journal of Conflict Management 6:290-311.