Policy Sciences

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 265-291

First online:

Social process in grizzly bear management: lessons for collaborative governance and natural resource policy

  • Lauren RichieAffiliated withYale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Email author 
  • , J. Daniel OppenheimerAffiliated withYale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • , Susan G. ClarkAffiliated withJoseph F. Cullman 3rd Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Policy Sciences and Fellow, Institution for Social and Policy Studies, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University

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In this study, we analyze a case of governance in natural resource management. Building on the limited body of literature on termination and using methods of problem orientation and social process mapping, we examine a stakeholder engagement process designed to address conflicts in grizzly bear management in Banff National Park, Alberta. Terminated in 2009 after several years of collaboration, this stakeholder engagement process explicitly used the policy sciences framework to cultivate dialogue, improve participants’ decision-making skills, and make consensus-based recommendations for grizzly bear management. Our analysis demonstrates the utility of undertaking social process mapping and problem orientation in order to understand a natural resource policy problem. We include recommendations to foster a social process that allows for clarification and advancement of the common interest in stakeholder groups, insights into how social process can contribute to policy termination, and reflections on the practical, collaborative use of the policy sciences to solve problems of governance. This analysis complements other articles on this case that examine stakeholder perspectives, initial outcomes, and decision process, collectively providing a thorough policy analysis.


Governance Termination Social process Interdisciplinary problem solving Policy sciences Grizzly bear Prototype