Environmental Mediation and Conflict Resolution
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Environmental disputes can be intractable and difficult to resolve because the landowners, developers, natural resources companies, local residents, environmental organizations, and government agencies may take a “moral” stand on their positions. The power contests can be highly publicized and emotional. There may also jobs, recreational interests, and community concerns at stake.

Environmental disputes are not easy to mediate, but environmental mediation can lead to the out-of-court resolution of environmental disputes. Environmental mediation may involve meetings with community action groups, governmental agencies, corporations, and environmental non-profits, and this process may take time. Town hall meeting may be necessary to allow everyone to be heard.

Reaching consensus through mediation may be far preferable to winning or losing in court. A mutually-agreeable solution may put an end to the dispute while a court-mandated judgment may escalate the fight to appeal after appeal.

About Mediation:  Careful listening and studious attention to the issues allows the mediator to help craft mutually-acceptable agreements that satisfy the most fundamental needs and wants of each party. Complex mediations encompass far more than compromise. Success also involves careful preparation combined with creativity and a positive focus on the goal.   Chris Hahn, Ph.D., MBA

About the mediator: Dr. Hahn’s blending of education, experience, and temperament has qualified him to mediate environmental disputes. He has a unique balance of industry experience and environmental concern. While serving as an executive in a major mining company, he always made it a point to put magazines from environmental organizations on his office conference table. He is an avid backpacker, cross country skier, and he deeply appreciates nature, yet he understands the need to keep people employed and to fuel the economy through the use of our natural resources.

His educational training provides him with a technical vocabulary, competence in the process of scientific reasoning, and interpersonal insight into human behaviors. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology, Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and Ph.D. in Human Services (mental health focus).

His corporate, managerial, and entrepreneurial experience spans nearly three decades. He worked directly in the natural resource industry as a landman for Conoco and as the Manager of Mineral Lands for Homestake Mining Company’s exploration division. In these roles he worked directly with land acquisition and leasing, water rights, environmental assessments and planning, corporate partnerships, and public relations. He always made every effort to use a balanced and fair approach when interacting with land owners and community stakeholders.

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Copyright, 2005-2012, Christopher P. Hahn, Bozeman, MT