Democratizing Wildlife Management: Designing Effective Citizen Participation Strategies

EPA Grant Number: U914976
Title: Democratizing Wildlife Management: Designing Effective Citizen Participation Strategies
Investigators: Chase, Lisa C.
Institution: Cornell University
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 1999
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice , Fellowship - Economics


The objective of this research project is to improve decisionmaking in wildlife management through effective design and evaluation of public involvement strategies. This project focuses on community-level approaches to stakeholder involvement, and it explores methods for deciding which types of citizen involvement are optimal in different situations, given contextual constraints. To promote critical reflection and help managers increase their capacity to involve stakeholders in decisionmaking, this project emphasizes collaboration with wildlife professionals and stakeholders in wildlife management conflicts.


A conceptual framework for assessing stakeholder involvement in decisionmaking is being developed, applied, and evaluated. The development of the framework is based on a review of literature as well as qualitative and quantitative inquiry of stakeholders and wildlife managers. Examination of the relative importance of evaluative criteria in specific situations provides guidance for linking public involvement techniques with contextual concerns. The framework is being applied to two wildlife management cases where stakeholder involvement is currently employed or contemplated. Specifically, this project examines elk management in Evergreen, Colorado, and deer management in Cayuga Heights, New York. Based on the criteria identified in each case and situation analysis, public involvement techniques will be selected and combined to develop strategies unique to each situation. The insights derived through contextual analyses will be used to evaluate the conceptual framework and inform theoretical models of decisionmaking. In addition, this project will contribute methodologically to techniques for understanding and managing controversial situations.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, wildlife management, decisionmaking, public involvement strategies, citizen involvement, stakeholders, framework., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Economics, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, stakeholder involvement, coalition formation, community involvement, collaborative resolution, collective choice process, environmental decision making, decision making, wildlife management, community based environmental planning, environmental policy, environmental protection

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final