The Highlands Conservation Act of 2004 (H. R. 1964) mandated a comprehensive review of five conservation values throughout Pennsylvania's Highland region. Generally, experts conduct such work and routinely dismiss stakeholder input as unnecessary because the latter lack the level of understanding and knowledge held by those "who really understand the issues." In this article, we compare the lands identified by experts to those identified by stakeholders in Pennsylvania's Highlands and present the process used and correspondence between places identified by the experts and stakeholders. Findings indicate the stakeholders were very capable of identifying important conservation areas. Future efforts should recognize the capacity of stakeholders to contribute to such processes and efforts.
- Highlands Conservation Act of 2004
- Mixed methods
- Open space and cultural resources