The Palouse :a bioregional approach for assessing sense of place


Donovan, Shannon.. (2007). The Palouse :a bioregional approach for assessing sense of place. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

The Palouse :a bioregional approach for assessing sense of place
Donovan, Shannon.
Regional planning--Palouse River Watershed (Idaho and Wash.) Landowners--Palouse River Watershed (Idaho and Wash.)--Attitudes
Environmental Science
The Palouse region of the Inland Northwest was transformed from native grasslands into an agricultural landscape with the arrival of Europeans settlers beginning in the mid-1800s. Currently, the Palouse Prairie ecosystem, which is largely privately owned, is considered endangered. However, no conservation measures currently exist to protect the remaining prairie remnants. Due to the need for more information regarding landowner and other stakeholder perceptions of the landscape and its biologically important resources, this study sought to understand and describe the diversity of meanings landowners and stakeholders ascribe to the Palouse region.;My primary objectives were two-fold. The first objective aimed to understand landowner and stakeholders perceptions of the Palouse. My second objective was to analyze how these perceptions influence (1) their regional definitions, (2) sense of place, and (3) meaningful places in relation to the landscape. Using a maximum variation sampling approach, I conducted semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 90 landowners and stakeholders living and/or working within Latah County, Idaho and Whitman County, Washington. Interviews included a participatory mapping component creating spatial and narrative data that were analyzed simultaneously.;The results of this study show the range of associations that exist between interview participants and the Palouse region, and the diversity of meanings ascribed to the landscape. Specifically, I revealed: (1) the interview participants' diversity of characteristics used to define the Palouse; (2) how these characteristics influence participant delineations of bioregional boundaries; (3) the relationship between agriculture and participants sense of place with the Palouse landscape; (4) the extent that socially meaningful places overlap with biologically important areas; and (5) the various characteristics that participants associated with these places--which often did not include biological attributes.;The explanatory and intensive nature of these findings provides planners and policy makers with a better understanding of the diversity of meanings that exist regarding the landscape. Leaders seeking to implement landscape-level conservation plans can use this information as the foundation for drafting conservation strategies. Using the information gained through this study as the basis for community-supported conservation plans has the potential to promote landscape-level planning on the Palouse.
Thesis (Ph. D., Environmental Science)--University of Idaho, July 2007.
Major Professor:
J.D. Wulfhorst.
Defense Date:
July 2007.
Format Original:
xiii, 139 leaves :col. ill., col. maps ;29 cm.

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