The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service (NPS) are preparing a management plan for bison and elk inhabiting the National Elk Refuge (NER) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A management plan is needed to evaluate current and possible changes to habitat management, disease management, winter feeding and hunting programs related to the NER and GTNP. In order to make good decisions, managers need to incorporate the opinions and values of the involved stakeholders as well as understand the complex institutional constraints and opportunities that influence the decision making process. Federal, state, local, private and public stakeholders have diverse values and preferences about how to use and manage resources, and underlying institutional factors give certain stakeholders more influence over the outcome. How stakeholders use their influence can greatly affect the time, effort and costs of the decision making process. The overall result will depend both on the stakeholder's relative power and level of conviction for their preferences.
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Analyzing stakeholder preferences for managing elk and bison at the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park: an example of the disparate stakeholder management approach