Merritt, Lavell (2009-12). Evaluating a Negotiated Rulemaking Process at Cape Hatteras National Seashore: Toward Piping Plover and People in One Place. Doctoral Dissertation.
Local communities, individuals, visitors, and special interest groups are often called upon to participate in the decision making processes of the National Park Service (NPS). Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) engaged in a Negotiated Rulemaking process to create an Off Road Vehicle Management Rule. The rulemaking process involved park stakeholders working with the NPS as a Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee with the goal of creating an Off Road Vehicle Management Rule for CAHA. This dissertation used Senecah's practical theory Trinity of Voice to evaluate CAHA's negotiated rulemaking process. Interviews with park staff and negotiated rulemaking participants provided information about the presence of the grammars of TOV in this decision making process. This dissertation described the affects of negotiated rulemaking on the perceptions of participants towards the park resources and management of the national seashore. The effect of the negotiated rulemaking process was an increase in the knowledge of participants about the decision making process employed by the NPS. In general, participants also developed a stronger relationship with park management. This research suggests critical dimensions for achieving widespread social legitimacy through meaningful public involvement in decision making.