By Scott Hoffmann, Mark Brunson and Summer Olsen, Utah State University
Using this Guide
This guide is intended to provide information on active stakeholder interest groups focused on restoration of sagebrush ecosystems in the Great Basin region. It is based on a comprehensive search of internet websites, recently filed litigation records, previous interviews, and discussions with land managers in the region. The information contained in the guide is representative of the general environment in which restoration activities are conducted in the six states comprising the SageSTEP project, and is not meant to be an all-inclusive listing of groups. All efforts were made to identify groups most active and thus most pertinent to land managers and researchers in the region. There undoubtedly exist additional groups active on a more local level, which are equally as significant to restoration activities as those identified here. The guide, as developed, is intended to be particularly useful for those working on fuels treatments and NEPA issues.
As efforts are made to restore the health and functioning of sagebrush ecosystems within the Great Basin, various stakeholder interest groups have the potential to offer partnerships as well as adversarial involvement with land managers tasked with restoration. Given that greater than 60% of the Great Basin is publicly owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies, it is critical for those working in restoration to understand the views held by key stakeholder groups that may enhance or impair such efforts (Brunson and Peterson 2007). Gaining knowledge about and familiarity with those interest groups active in their respective regions, land managers can begin to identify the needs and priorities of individual stakeholders, and can integrate those positions into restoration planning to more effectively predict and avoid contention and conflict (Brunson and Peterson 2007). While the issues facing the Great Basin ecosystem increasingly become more complex and difficult to manage, it has been shown that stakeholder interest groups and land managers tend to agree on the needed use of restoration treatments by management agencies to address the current threats to public rangelands. Thus, it is vital for land managers to cultivate a thorough understanding of stakeholder groups most likely to assume an active role in public lands restoration.
Brunson, M. and J. Peterson. 2007. Comparing Citizens’ and Managers’ Concerns about Sagebrush Management and Restoration in the Great Basin. Utah State University, Unpublished Manuscript. Available here.