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Common values and themes for grazed open spaces: “plant diversity” and “watershed” as communication intersections for agriculture and conservation groups?

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Scasta, John Derek (main author), Welter, Kelsey J. (author), Friday, Colleen (author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
Taylor & Francis
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
conservation, environmental communication, farmers, natural resource management, organizational communication, scientific communication, Wyoming, USA, biodiversity, rangelands
15 pages., via online journal., Communicating about the use and management of open spaces occurs within a complex social environment replete with diverse stakeholder opinions and meta-narratives. For western US rangelands, productionbased enterprises have been the traditional use but increasingly they are valued for ecosystem services such as water, recreation, biodiversity, and aesthetics which have led to additional conflict. We surveyed Wyoming-based members of six agricultural (Ag) and four environmental/conservation (Env/Con) groups to determine grazingcentric mutual exclusivity of special interests, common values, and emergent themes. We assessed 197 survey participants; 150 from Ag groups and 47 from Env/Con groups. Of 10 values assessed, “watershed” and “plant diversity” were similarly valued by both group types. These naturally dichotomous groups also agreed that communication and reliance on science are needed. Communication and conflict resolution about the use of open spaces can benefit from addressing social presuppositions and meta-narratives of broader audiences to facilitate effective dialogue and solutions.