Teaching Case - Confrontation in Utah

Confrontation in Utah


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  • Product Description

    When the new supervisor of the Manti-La Sal National Forest in San Juan County, Utah receives a letter from the local county commission demanding that she direct the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to remove a significant number of elk from the federal lands under her control, she realizes that she is likely to be caught in a political crossfire. The question of whether to reduce the number of elk grazing in the dry but spectacularly scenic lands in the so-called Four Corners area was caught up in the much larger questions of whether land use policy should favor environmentalists or local agricultural interests (such as cattle ranchers), and whether the federal government should make such decisions or whether state or local governments should have the leading role. At the time the letter is written, tensions are running even higher than unusual because of an exceptionally dry summer. The presence of elk, introduced to the area by the federal government, could be seen as exacerbating the effects of limited water supply. But local opinion about the elk is far from unanimous--and the area in question is of great interest to environmentalists nationwide as well. The case raises the question of how a public employee who has discretion to interpret policy in the field should respond to conflicting types of public pressure.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: November 01, 2004
    HKS Case Number: 1750.0
    Case Author: Dan H. Fenn, Jr.
    Faculty Lead: Dan H. Fenn, Jr.
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 12
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
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