Ongoing conflicts over the management of western rangelands can be attributed in part to the lack of reliable information about current ecological conditions and their causes due, in turn, to insufficient monitoring. To meet the monitoring shortfall, land management agencies increasingly are enlisting permittees to monitor their grazing allotments. We surveyed grazing permittees in 5 Arizona counties and land management agency employees throughout Arizona to compare their attitudes toward permittee monitoring on public rangelands, the role of government in rangeland management, rangeland conditions in Arizona, and the credibility of information sources about rangelands. Permittees and agency employees differed in most of the attitudes measured by our survey. However, both populations agreed that permittees should participate in monitoring their allotments, and many respondents agreed with making permittee monitoring mandatory. Many respondents in both groups also agreed that collaboration can be beneficial. Joint monitoring, which can be considered a type of “joint fact-finding,” may help improve agency–permittee relationships and bridge the gap in attitudes and underlying values. Permittee-monitoring programs deserve careful evaluation to determine their impacts on social relationships, management decisions, and ecological conditions.
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Vol. 58 • No. 4