Defining Sustainability: A Case Study of a Woody Biomass Project in the Pacific Northwest
Lode, Ben Raymond
This thesis explores a working group's efforts to establish a cellulosic ethanol production plant in the Northwest. Specifically, the study explores how a collaborative frames sustainability, or sustainable development, when seeking public support while attempting to minimize conflict regarding an industrial project that some would, and others would not argue promotes responsible use of a natural resource. Additionally, this research examines who gets to be involved in defining what sustainability really "means" and what the reasons are for including some stakeholders in this process while others are excluded. It also considers the challenges related to defining sustainability in a specific community in the Northwest that is known for its commitment to sustainable development but at the same time has a history of being home to natural resource extractive industries, such as the timber industry. Finally, it examines the usefulness of an environmental conflict resolution model for evaluating these organizational processes.