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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8010022

Community-Engaged Research Builds a Nature-Culture of Hope on North American Great Plains Rangelands

1
Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
2
Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3
Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaged Scholarship for Resilient Communities)
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Abstract

In the North American Great Plains, multigenerational ranches and grassland biodiversity are threatened by dynamic and uncertain climatic, economic, and land use processes. Working apart, agricultural and conservation communities face doubtful prospects of reaching their individual goals of sustainability. Rangeland research could serve a convening platform, but experimental studies seldom involve local manager communities. The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) project, however, has undertaken a ten-year, ranch-level, participatory research effort to explore how community-engaged research can increase our understanding of conservation and ranching goals. Using ethnographic data and the nature-culture concept—which recognizes the inseparability of ecological relationships that are shaped by both biological and social processes—we examine the CARM team’s process of revising their management objectives (2016–2018). In CARM’s early days, the team established locally-relevant multifunctional goals and objectives. As team members’ understanding of the ecosystem improved, they revised objectives using more spatially, temporally and ecologically specific information. During the revision process, they challenged conventional ecological theories and grappled with barriers to success outside of their control. The emerging CARM nature-culture, based on a sense of place and grounded in hope, provides insights into effective community-engaged research to enhance rangeland livelihood and conservation outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: collaborative adaptive management; goals and objectives; natural resource management; grassland bird conservation; sense of place collaborative adaptive management; goals and objectives; natural resource management; grassland bird conservation; sense of place
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Wilmer, H.; Porensky, L.M.; Fernández-Giménez, M.E.; Derner, J.D.; Augustine, D.J.; Ritten, J.P.; Peck, D.P. Community-Engaged Research Builds a Nature-Culture of Hope on North American Great Plains Rangelands. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 22.

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