THE RANCHER AS THE STEWARD: BUILDING A LANDSCAPE OF COLLABORATION IN THE AMERICAN WEST

Author: 
Talley, Jared L.
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2018
Description: 
The armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in early 2016 is the latest encounter in a long history of conflict surrounding the federally managed lands in the Intermountain west region of the United States. The standoff appeals to a narrative of the American West that pits the renegade against the lawman and the rancher against the management agency, celebrating the rugged individualism characteristic of the Western machismo. This project offers a counter-narrative of communities in the Intermountain west that wish to retain their unique cultural histories while evolving with the needs and commitments of contemporary environmental governance. In this paper, I aim to both offer a perspective of western communities that centers on their relationship to the land, including their willingness and desire to care for the environment as stewards, while highlighting some of the conceptual issues that impede this stewardship. This project stems from my own publicly engaged philosophical research in the deserts of Nevada surrounding collaborative efforts to better manage public lands. Standing in stark contrast to the strategies of those that forcefully occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are those community members that seek to engage with local management agencies in collaborations that center trust, humility, and authentic dialogue in working through the environmental conflicts that impact the ecosystems, economies, and cultures of the west. This project builds a counter-narrative from these collaborations that considers new strategies of environmental governance on public lands, including discussion of the different types of expert knowledge brought to bear in public land management, the obstacles of deciding who to include and exclude in collaborative efforts, and the institutional obstacles that prevent legitimate collaboration and problem-solving at the local level.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

A collection of presentation titles and abstracts from the SRM Annual Meeting and Tradeshows