Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Keith Bosak

Commitee Members

Dan Spencer, Steve Siebert


Caleta Tortel, natural resource use, political ecology, international conservation and development, Pilgerodendron uviferum


University of Montana


This study examined the changing roles of ciprés de las Guaitecas (Pilgerodendron uviferum) in the lives and livelihoods of Tortel community members. A political ecology framework built on concepts of power, scale and social construction was used to problematize the availability of the tree as a resource by revealing the multiple, contrasting perspectives of different socio-political actors. National and international policy documents were analyzed in order to uncover the discourses that drive decision-making at those scales. Participant observation and semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore local people’s knowledge, perceptions and opinions regarding the difficulties they face in accessing and utilizing ciprés, as well as the significance of the tree species to their lives/livelihoods. Ultimately, an examination of people’s relationships to ciprés and their interests in the continuation of those relationships speaks to whether and how ciprés can or should remain an important part of their lives/livelihoods.



© Copyright 2011 Kyla Sara Zaret