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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

Open-File Report 2005-1224

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Abstract

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.

Many programs and tools have been developed by different disciplines to facilitate group negotiation and decision making. Three examples are relevant here. First, decision analysis models such as the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) are commonly used to prioritize the goals and objectives of stakeholders’ preferences for resource planning by formally structuring conflicts and assisting decision makers in developing a compromised solution (Forman, 1998). Second, institutional models such as the Legal Institutional Analysis Model (LIAM) have been used to describe the organizational rules of behavior and the institutional boundaries constraining management decisions (Lamb and others, 1998). Finally, public choice models have been used to predict the potential success of rent-seeking activity (spending additional time and money to exert political pressure) to change the political rules (Becker, 1983). While these tools have been successful at addressing various pieces of the natural resource decision making process, their use in isolation is not enough to fully depict the complexities of the physical and biological systems with the rules and constraints of the underlying economic and political systems. An approach is needed that combines natural sciences, economics, and politics.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
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
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2005-1224
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
v, 50 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Wyoming
Other Geospatial:
Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N