Policy Sciences

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 95–111

The American West’s longest large mammal migration: clarifying and securing the common interest


DOI: 10.1007/s11077-008-9059-x

Cite this article as:
Cherney, D.N. & Clark, S.G. Policy Sci (2009) 42: 95. doi:10.1007/s11077-008-9059-x


Over the last 10 years, conflict has grown over a 170-mile pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) migration between Grand Teton National Park and the Upper Green River Basin in western Wyoming. Resolving conflict in the common interest is proving difficult. This movement is the longest mammal migration in the lower 48 states, spanning the jurisdiction of three federal agencies, three Wyoming counties, and over 40 private landowners. In addition, there are over ten non-governmental conservation organizations, two major state agencies, Wyoming’s executive office, and many citizens involved in the issue. There are three major problem definitions serving the beliefs of participants: the ecological-scientific (conservation biologists, environmentalists), local rights (local control, property rights), and cultural value (historic, western heritage) definitions. These definitions challenge the social and decision making processes of regional communities and government agencies. Underlying the problem of securing the common interest is the highly fragmented patterns of authority and control, misorganized arena(s), and parochial perspectives of many participants. Options promoted by participants can be loosely classified as top-down (government, expert driven) versus bottom-up (local, practice-based) approaches and reflect preferences for the distribution and uses of power and other values. Given the social and decision making context of this case, the bottom-up, practiced-based approach would likely best secure a common interest outcome.


Policy process appraisalCommon interestProblem definitionConflictWildlife management and policyPractice-based approachWildlife migrationTransboundry management

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Science and Technology Policy ResearchUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Yale School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesNew HavenUSA