The GBF experience in finding common ground as a mechanism for solving user conflicts
Shead, Linda R.
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It is frequently assumed by the parties in a dispute that only one side can be right. Further impeding efforts to resolve conflicts is the view that negotiation would result in significant losses of integrity for those who compromise. Such perspectives tend to undermine progress in moving beyond the us vs. them mentality that has characterized much of the environmental debate in this country. However, finding common ground and building consensus is both possible and desirable, and can often result in win-win solutions. It is not necessary for one group to sell out its values of perspective; it is necessary to listen to, and learn to live with different perspectives. The Galveston Bay area has been uniquely successful in this regard, and this paper will describe some of the experiences of the Galveston Bay Foundation in particular.