Exerting Local Power Over Federal Process: Stakeholder Negotiation Process in the Canyon Forest Village Land Exchange Process 1992-2002
Kearney, Barbara Ann
Geores, Martha E
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This is a study of the National Forest Land Exchange process as it relates to the development of gateway communities. The study area is outside the Kaibab National Forest in Northern Arizona. This land exchange represented a collaborative partnership between the National Park Service, the Forest Service meant to consolidate private inholdings within the forest and to provide services for the Grand Canyon National Park outside park borders. The stakeholders involved in the land exchange discourse included the Forest Service, the developer, the National Park Service, the gateway communities of Tusayan, Williams, and Flagstaff, the Havasupai tribe, and environmental organizations. This study demonstrates that the public interest is dependent on scale. Using a mixed methodological approach, this study examined the impact stakeholders had on the land exchange process. A content analysis of articles and editorials written in local and regional newspapers, of public comments on the Environmental Impact Statement, and of semi-structured interviews of key participants in the land exchange debate helped to elucidate the most prominent concerns resonating with each category of stakeholder. A survey of the city of Williams, Arizona, was also conducted. Though it never came to fruition, the Canyon Forest Village land exchange demonstrated the economic issues facing gateway communities and their vulnerability to the actions and policies of public land agencies. By voicing their concerns and conducting a media campaign against the development plan, the gateway communities took control of both the land exchange process and their own economic development.