Conservation through Conversation: Collaborative Planning for Reuse of a Former Military Property in Sauk County, Wisconsin, USA
This article is concerned with collaborative planning processes for the future use and management of a former military property in Wisconsin, USA. The article locates this story within both an historical account of conservation in the US and the theoretical and operational literature on collaborative planning. It argues that the effectiveness of the planning processes described is a direct result of its collaborative nature; that is, its focus on integrating conservation with community in a process of civic engagement. In particular, the article argues that three factors are crucial in explaining the effectiveness of the process. First, the inclusion of other types of knowledge, including local cultural attachments and stories as part of the information base; second, a focus on understanding the different values of all those who have something at stake in the issue rather than a steadfast focus on competing interests and the political calculus among them; and third, the commitment to a broadly democratic and deliberative process.