Viewpoint: Implications of participatory democracy for public land planning

Margaret A. Moote, Mitchel P. Mcclaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Non-traditional, collaborative public participation approaches such as coordinated resource management have been proposed to improve the public participation process used in public land planning on rangelands. Either implicitly or explicitly, most advocates of such non-traditional approaches to public participation seem to embrace s participatory democracy model of governance. Whether or not this model for decision-making can practicably be implemented, given our current institutional and legal frameworks for public lands management, has not been closely examined. Criticisms of the traditional public participation process are categorized into 5 main issues: efficacy; representation and access; information exchange and learning; continuity of participation; and decision-making authority. We use these categories to evaluate the feasibility of implementing participatory democracy-based decision-making in public lands planning. Although there is some statutory and regulatory authority for participatory democracy in public land planning, there are a number of logistical, legal, and even philosophical challenges to its application that warrant further consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-481
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Range Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Accountability
  • Collaborative planning
  • Coordinated resource management
  • Decision-making
  • Public participation
  • Representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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