Wildfire Protection: Conflict in the Bitterroot National Forest
The Wildfire Protection: Conflict in the Bitterroot National Forest case is a presentation of stakeholder conflict in the management and use of Bitterroot National Forest and its resources. …
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The conflict emanates from the diversity of the ideological views held by different forest stakeholders. While all the stakeholders totally agree that the fundamental principle of forest management is the creation of its sustainability, the ways of achieving this sustainability causes a split in the views of the different stakeholders. All the stakeholders involved agrees on the issues of forest restoration, aquatic and wildlife habitat protection, removal of forest roads and the improvement of recreational facilities, as well as the adherence to the forest management laws, but cannot agree on the issue of logging (Hinthorne & Holman, 2009). This has resulted to costly litigations between different stakeholders. Therefore, collaboration and mediation efforts are being sought in earnest, to replace litigation as the conflict resolution mechanisms. Question 1 The most contentious issue, which the stakeholders seem to never agree on, is the issue of logging. Therefore, the disagreements amongst the different stakeholders to the Bitterroot National Forest has degenerated into self-interest for different stakeholders, with the Forest Service being interested in preserving the lives and properties of the homeowners around the forest, as well as preserving and restoring the forest. On the other hand, the business community is interested in accessing logs from the forest for the logging business, the home owners interested in the privacy and safety of their homes, while the conservation groups are interested in maintaining the forest just as naturally as it is (Hinthorne & Holman, 2009). These conflicted interests have threatened to tear-down the efforts of the stakeholders to reach a compromise, the concept of collaboration among the stakeholders has proved elusive. The only way that has marked the stakeholders’ relationship in the Bitterroot National Forest management, is litigations that have been too costly to continue operating as the channel of resolving the stakeholders’ conflicts. Question 2 The core values of the primary stakeholders in the Bitterroot National Forest are forest restoration, environmental sustainability, mutual benefit and moral and ethical management. The objectives of the primary stakeholders include seeking to ensure sustainable environmental management, through ensuring that the Bitterroot National Forest resources are not depleted, while ensuring that the habitats of different species living in the forest are not affected or damaged (Hinthorne & Holman, 2009). Another objective of the primary stakeholders is to ensure the involvement of all in the decision-making process regarding the management and exploitation of the resources found within the Bitterroot National Forest. Additionally, the primary stakeholders has an objective of ensuring that there is mutual benefit accrued from the forest resources, where the community living in the forest and within its vicinity benefits from the forest resources, while also contributing to the restoration and preservation of the forest and its resources (Hinthorne & Holman, 2009). Finally, it is the objective of the primary stakeholders to the Bitterroot National Forest; that the forest management laws are adhered to in the process of managing the forest and exploiting its resources. However, the strategies of the different primary stakeholders to realize their objectives are different. While the executive branch, consisting of the ministry of agriculture and Forest Service applies dialogue, mutual cooperation and collaboration as the strategy to realize its objectives, the conservation groups have resulted to litigation as the strat
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