The Rocky Mountain Research Station has a brief paper of interest here: “Hearing Every Voice in the Room: Social Science for Public Engagement During Forest Planning.” Anyone here familiar with the Q methodology? It sounds similar to the methodology used by Region 6 folks in NW Forest Plan revision “listening sessions” a few years ago.
“At the Gila National Forest and elsewhere, Armatas and his coworkers have implemented a public engagement protocol based on a social science information-gathering approach known as Q methodology. Invented in 1935 but recently adapted and peer-reviewed for Forest Service use, Q methodology is a structured analysis of personal opinions on a given topic. It requires participants to complete something called a Q sort, where tradeoffs are elicited and natural resource benefits are prioritized. Participants also identify drivers of change—such as management actions and climate change impacts—that are most concerning to them. Information can be collected in less than an hour, participants generally find the hands-on process to be thought-provoking and fun, and the final results include an understandable and engaging representation of a diverse range of perspectives.”