Perspectives on prions : mapping the social landscape around chronic wasting disease on the Canadian prairies
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Social perspectives on natural resources management have become an increasingly valuable part of natural resources management decision making, especially at the policy or governance level. However, due to the range of social contexts that can exist around management questions, not every technique for incorporating stakeholders into management is suited for every management problem. My research examines the social landscape around chronic wasting disease (CWD) management on the Canadian prairies in order to identify a way forward for stakeholder involvement in CWD management. CWD is a prion disease that results in neurodegeneration and death in cervids. CWD has the potential for broad social impact because it infects elk and deer, species which are both hunted and ranched. Furthermore, management and monitoring efforts in free-ranging cervids frequently incorporate hunting activity. Q methodology was used to survey stakeholders in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and synthesize perspectives about stakeholder understanding of CWD as a problem and preferences for potential solutions. The perspectives that emerged emphasized the importance of increasing knowledge about CWD and a generalized trust in government management, coupled with a desire for stakeholder consultation under the auspices of government leadership. I found that CWD management may not be ready for stakeholder spearheaded management activity due to ambivalence and uncertainty among stakeholders, but stakeholder involvement in CWD management can still offer valuable insight for managers. This is especially notable in light of the recent loss of Saskatchewan’s CWD monitoring program.
DegreeMaster of Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.)
DepartmentSchool of Environment and Sustainability
ProgramEnvironment and Sustainability
SupervisorClark, Douglas A.
CommitteeGober, Patricia; Brook, Ryan K.; Belcher, Ken W.
Copyright DateApril 2014
chronic wasting disease
wildlife disease management