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Human Ecology

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Geography and environment research, Environmental mapping -- Olympic Peninsula (Wash.), Social constructionism -- Place theory


Indigenous peoples, local communities, and other groups can use counter-mapping to make land claims, identify areas of desired access, or convey cultural values that diverge from the dominant paradigm. While sometimes created independently, counter-maps also can be formulated during public participation mapping events sponsored by natural resource planning agencies. Public participation mapping elicits values, uses, and meanings of landscapes from diverse stakeholders, yet individuals and advocacy groups can use the mapping process as an opportunity to make visible strongly held values and viewpoints. We present three cases from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State to illustrate how stakeholders intentionally used landscape-values mapping workshops to amplify their perspectives in attempts to further political outcomes. We combine geospatial analysis with qualitative data to explore ways that landscape-values mapping were used as a political tool and how social scientists engaged in similar efforts can defend the scientific integrity of results.


To the best of our knowledge, this work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government in accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105.

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