Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

First Advisor

Patricia A. Stokowski


The role of collaboration within conservation is of increasing interest to scholars, managers and forest communities. Collaboration can take many forms, but one under-studied topic is the form and content of public discourses across conservation project timelines. To understand the discursive processes that influence conservation decision-making, this research evaluates the use of collaborative rhetoric and claims about place within discourses of conservation in the Adirondacks. Local newspaper articles and editorials published from January 1996 to December 2013 and concerning six major conservation projects were studied using content analysis. Results show that collaborative rhetoric increased during the study period, and conflict discourses declined, in concert with the rise of collaborative planning efforts. Data also show an increasing convergence between conservation sponsors and local communities regarding the economic benefits of conservation and the importance of public participation. The study has value in examining representations of place and media claims-making strategies within conservation discourses, an important topic as natural resource managers increasingly embrace community-based natural resource management.



Number of Pages

102 p.