Ballot Initiatives and Wildlife Management Policy Change in Two Western States

Christopher Burnett

DOI: 10.2190/ES.31.3.b


In the wildlife policy arena ballot initiatives have been used increasingly over the past two decades to wrest control of policy from legislators and bureaucrats. This trend has led to dramatic changes in policy as professionals are forced to adapt to changing political winds. I use a model of policy change developed by Baumgartner and Jones to examine how the wildlife policy arena has changed in recent years by ballot initiatives. Case studies involving trapping in California and Colorado are examined to determine whether the wildlife establishment prevails is affected by the success of opponents in altering policy image.

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