Representing recovery: Science and local control in the framing of U.S. Pacific Northwest salmon policy

Troy E. Hall, Dave White

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Framing is a process of highlighting certain facets of reality to make specific issues more prominent, consequential, and memorable. Framing is important in policy debates because it affects what counts as knowledge, which actors are empowered or disenfranchised, and the forum for decision-making. This paper presents a discourse analysis of framing processes in Pacific Northwest salmon recovery policy. Analysis of testimony from more than 100 witnesses to six U.S. Congressional committees identified two prominent frames: one based on scientific discourse and another based on local control discourse. Actors used these frames to define the problem, outline solutions, support their positions, and undermine the positions of others. Results reveal distinctions between stakeholder groups in the frames that they do and do not use in policy debate, and the discussion addresses reasons for these differences. The results imply that the policy community has limited potential for creative decision-making to address salmon decline.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)32-45
    Number of pages14
    JournalHuman Ecology Review
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jun 2008


    • Discourse analysis
    • Environmental policy
    • Issue framing
    • Natural resources
    • Qualitative methods

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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