- Mireille Gonzalez, Ph.D. student, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Warner College of Natural Resources -CSU
Understanding, Measuring, and Addressing Social Conflict Surrounding Proposed Wolf Reintroduction in Colorado
Social conflict over wolf recovery and management can create negative outcomes for both people and wolves and can pose challenges to human-wolf coexistence and to the practitioners charged with managing wolves. A reduction in social conflict is crucial to ensure that predators and humans can coexist, and that trust and positive relationships can be built and/or maintained between different stakeholder groups over time. This research seeks to characterize the state of social conflict over proposed wolf reintroduction in Colorado, and investigate guiding principles of stakeholder engagement processes that can help address these drivers of social conflict. Investigating the drivers of the intergroup conflict and potential processes for addressing this conflict can assist practitioners in developing more effective stakeholder outreach and engagement. Specifically, this research will 1) Identify the drivers and indicators of social conflict surrounding proposed wolf reintroduction, 2) describe how to measure and characterize the drivers and indicators, 3) identify the potential stakeholder engagement processes for reducing social conflict, and 4) evaluate the feasibility and resources needed to implement these processes on the ground in Colorado.