Human Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 285–297 | Cite as

“With the Stroke of a Pen”: Designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and the Impact on Trust

  • Peggy Petrzelka
  • Sandra Marquart-Pyatt


In September of 1996, without prior warning to Utah residents, the Clinton Administration announced the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) in southern Utah. Reactions by residents in neighboring gateway communities were both swift and intense. Lack of citizen input in the process drew ire among Utah citizens living near the monument and statewide. In this article we examine how the designation process has impacted residents’ trust in the federal agency managing the monument—the Bureau of Land Management. Research on trust in federal resource management agencies is important for successful natural resource planning and management. We extend the research by incorporating the manner in which the designation of the GSENM occurred as an additional factor in the analyses on trust. We find the manner of designation matters, and discuss implications of this finding for both research and policy makers.


Gateway communities National monuments Natural protected areas Resource management agencies Trust 



Thank you to the residents of Escalante, who graciously gave their time and thoughts for this study. In addition, thank you to Rick Krannich and Dale Blahna for providing the 1996 survey data, Alyssia Angus , Emily and Jim Goodwin, Brian Jennings, Becca Smith, Stephanie Malin and Emily Petrzelka for their research assistance. We also thank the Agricultural Experiment Station at Utah State University, which funded this research through project UTA00850.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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