Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2017

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Science


Environmental Science, Division of

Steering Committee Member

Andrea Parker

Steering Committee Member

Elizabeth Vidon

Steering Committee Member

Israel Parker


Environmental conflict is a continuing issue in the United States, particularly as conservation must occur across private and public lands. The Adirondack Park in upstate New York serves as a model to deconstruct such conflict. New York state recently purchased a large 20,798-acre tract of land known as Boreas Ponds within the Central Adirondack region and has stirred conflict between local organizations and environmental interest groups over its classification and how much of it should be designated “Wilderness”. This study deconstructs the conflict by teasing out contributing factors through the use of discourse analysis, framing and content analysis. The results highlight contention is in part due to different values held by different stakeholders, particularly of wilderness preservation and access. There is also evidence to support different perceptions of wilderness by some of those living in the park and tourists. These findings support the need to address wilderness definitions in management.