Graduation Date

Fall 2022

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Yvonne Everett

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Gregg Gold

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Susan Edinger Marshall

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


With the extirpation of gray wolves (Canis lupus) from the American West in the early 20th Century, generations of ranchers have grazed livestock free from any threats by wolves. The absence of wolves from the western landscape has created an inter-generational gap in the experiential knowledge held by ranchers regarding how to manage livestock in wolf country. Using Wallowa County, Oregon, as a case study site, 18 cow-calf ranchers were interviewed to gain insights into the ways they generate and share knowledge of running livestock in landscapes shared with wolves. This study revealed the arrival of wolves within Wallowa County to be the principal driver for the creation of a rancher knowledge base related to wolves. Since that time, ranchers have developed a locally situated and integrated knowledge of wolves, where the species is understood through a lens of livestock management. While ranchers used formal and experiential pathways to develop their knowledge, social learning was particularly important to the development of wolf-related knowledge within the ranching community. Ranchers accessed wolf-related information from a variety of sources but held preference for their peers, industry organizations, and trusted groups with a local presence. This study found that ranchers will actively seek knowledge held by geographically distant peers and trusted groups in instances where information is lacking within their local community. This research serves as a strong beginning exploration of the social networks that underlie the flow of knowledge through this community.

Citation Style


Masters_Timothy_IRB_Renewal_Memo.pdf (223 kB)
IRB Approval Memo


Thesis/Project Location