Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Sociology (Rural and Environmental Change Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Sociology

Committee Chair

Daniel P. Doyle

Commitee Members

Celia Winkler, Jim Burchfield


Collaboration, Deliberative Democracy, public participation, United States Forest Service


University of Montana


Social changes over the past several decades have led to an increase in legislation mandating public participation in public land management. Like most legislation there were no specific requirements on how to achieve this mandate which left the decision up to federal agencies. For the United States Forest Service, public participation models have not been overly successful. The conflict has affected both the public and USFS employees. The latest model of public participation is collaboration. For this study collaboration was compared to deliberative democracy. Deliberative democracy shares many of the same characteristics as collaboration and the theory was used to explain what employees believe about collaboration. For this study, twenty five in depth interviews were conducted to gain information on how USFS employees believed this latest model may have an impact. The questions were aimed at finding out about perceived barriers to collaboration as well as possible benefits. It included finding out the direct impacts of required collaboration on employees and their jobs. This study also looked at the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program that requires the USFS to work with a citizen based collaborative in implementing and monitoring forest restoration.



© Copyright 2013 Sandra Kay Treadaway