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Carnivores and conflict: A community approach to carnivore compensation in southwestern Alberta

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Human tolerance of large carnivores is shaped by the direct and indirect effects that carnivores have on human populations. Compensation programs reimburse farmers and livestock producers for losses or damages incurred due to carnivore activity. The Carnivore Working Group (CWG) of the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association prepared recommendations for amendments to the Alberta Wildlife Predator Compensation Program with the aim of improving compensation in Alberta. I used the policy sciences and Brunner et al.’s (2002) tests for the common interest to evaluate the decision-making process behind the CWG’s recommendations. While the group performed moderately well in the intelligence, promotion, and prescription activities, the remaining decision-making activities have been stalled, waiting for action by the Alberta government. Based on my analysis and the principles of community-based adaptive governance I make recommendations for the CWG and other community groups dealing with similar policy issues.
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