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    This paper explores opportunities for administrative discretion in decision-making for natural resource management. We carried out an exploratory study in the USDA Forest Service to understand factors affecting administrative actions related to recreation use in riparian areas. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 27 resource professionals from a national forest in the northwest region of the United States. Questions focused on professional judgments about recreation in riparian areas, administrative actions related to management of these activities, and the potential for personal values to influence decisions. We analyzed the transcribed interviews using Atlas.ti, coding the data for salient themes. In this paper, we discuss perceptions of resource professionals about the potential for personal values to influence administrative actions and decisions. We highlight four distinct realms in the planning process where expanded discretionary capacity exists and values may emerge. Finally, we suggest ways to reduce the potential influence of value-based judgments in decision-making.

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    Trusty, Teressa; Cerveny, Lee K. 2012. The role of discretion in recreation decision-making by resource professionals in the USDA Forest Service. Journal of Environmental Management. 107: 114-123.


    administrative discretion, riparian recreation, values, public policy implementation, USDA Forest Service

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