Wilderness and Collaboration: An Analysis of Collaborative Processes Initiating Wilderness Designation
thesisposted on 2020-05-13, 00:00 authored by Catherine Winnop
Wilderness areas have historically been complex issues, gaining the name of a “wicked problem” since their establishment in 1964. Collaboration has been identified as an efficient process to solving “wicked problems” and is now rising in environmental management. Drawing from underlying research on both Wilderness and collaboration, this thesis establishes foundations in order to connect the two throughout history. It aims to understand how collaborative processes initiated Wilderness designation through communicating directly with states, communities, and grassroots organizations. The thesis synthesizes the history of Wilderness designation and the progression of collaboration through environmental management practices. Through research on over 180 Wilderness areas, it identifies key stakeholders that stimulate the Wilderness designation process. It also analyzes initiatives and methods that led the Wilderness designations to success. Lastly, through two case studies in Idaho, it highlights the dichotomy between collaborative practices that exist and the successes and obstacles that were faced. Finally, identifying how collaboration can be incorporated into future Wilderness designations and environmental management.