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Environmental Values

Realms of Value: Conflicting Natural Resource Values and Incommensurability

Sarah Fleisher Trainor

Environmental Values 15(2006): 3-29. doi: 10.3197/096327106776678951


Divergent values are often at the heart of natural resource conflict. Using discord over the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, U.S.A. as a case study, I propose that values are perceived as incommensurate because they reflect different realms, with which there exist distinct concepts of what it means to value and distinct, irreducible forms of value expression. I further argue that collaborative, discursive processes are one way to account for plural values in policy and decision making without requiring a common metric, yet they are not without theoretical and practical challenges.

KEYWORDS: Value conflict, incommensurability, plural values, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, wilderness, collaborative decision making

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Cost-Benefit Analysis, Incommensurability and Rough EqualityJonathan Aldred

Plural Values and Environmental Valuation. Wilfred Beckerman and Joanna Pasek

What Silence Knows - Planning, Public Participation and Environmental Values Anna Davies

Incorporating Value Trade-offs into Community-Based Environmental Risk Decisions Robin S. Gregory

Conceptions of Value in Environmental Decision-Making John O'Neill and Clive L. Spash

Economic Valuation and Environmental Values. Michael Prior

What is the Value of Rangitoto Island? Dan Vadnjal and Martin O'Connor

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial. Clive L. Spash

Contingent Valuation: Comparing Participant Performance in Group-Based Approaches and Personal Interviews. Nele Lienhoop and Douglas C. MacMillan

To Value Functions or Services? An Analysis of Ecosystem Valuation Approaches. Erik Ansink, Lars Heim and Knut Per Hasund

Non-Market Coordination: Towards an Ecological Response to Austrian Economics. Dan Greenwood

Value Theory in Ecological Economics: The Contribution of a Political Economy of Wealth. Ali Douai

Valuation Contests over the Commoditisation of the Moabi Tree in South-Eastern Cameroon. Sandra Veuthey and Jean-Françla;ois Gerber

The Positioned Construction of Water Values: Pluralism, Positionality and Praxis. Antonio A.R. Ioris

A Defence of Environmental Stewardship. Jennifer Welchman

Reframing Problems of Incommensurability in Environmental Conflicts Through Pragmatic Sociology: From Value Pluralism to the Plurality of Modes of Engagement with the Environment. Laura Centemeri

Governance and Images: Representations of Certified Southern Producers in High-Quality Design Markets. Anja Nygren

The Building of a Dam: Value Conflicts in Public Decision-Making. Ana Costa, José Castro Caldas, Ricardo Coelho, Maria de Fátima Ferreiro and Vasco onçalves

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