Researchers, planners, and decision makers admit the need to take into account the social conflicts inherent to invasive species management in order to minimize controversy. These conflicts are mainly based on differences in values systems, thus causing antithetical policies in environmental management. On the topic of Eucalyptus plantations, this paper studies two cases in Galicia, a region under an emerging social fight between advocates and opponents: firstly, we analyze a local community that is progressively eradicating Eucalyptus through the principles of ecological restoration; and secondly, a planning initiative led by a local government with a common goal. In order to set the spatial and social dimensions of the conflict, the methodological approach is based on the components of cognitive hierarchy theory and risk perception theory. The results are discussed with the purpose of examining to what extent the case studies imply a new model of rural governance, and in this respect, are transferrable to other situations. We conclude that institutional non-interference in Eucalyptus management facilitates the emergence of diverse new governance practices in the local scale but endures the conflict in its regional dimension.
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