This study attempted to characterize conflict frames of environmental disputes by examining twelve actual wetland permitting cases in Ohio. The participants consisted of such interested parties as applicants, technical, legal or environmental consultants to applicants, U.S.Army Corps of Engineers, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Natural Resoures, local agencies, the environmental community, and citizens who have been involved of the permitting process. The purpose of this study is to provide empirical evidence of how different perceptual frames existed in the wetland conversion disputes, and to understand different environmental conflict frames that influenced disputants' perception relating to dispute resolution. The vehicles used to collect the necessary data were three survey instruments : Open-ended questionnaires, Likert-type questionnaires, and ranking questionnaires. Forty-three subjects were contacted for open fact-to-fact interviews, 53 subject for Kikert-type mail survey and 54 subjects for ranking instrument mail survey. Analyses of survey results revealed that six different types of frames were clearly identified from all the parties involved in Ohio wetland conversion disputes. It revealed that disputants had statistically significantly different levels of perception to the frames based on the participants' role (i.e. regulator, applicant, commentor), the number of involved parties in the process, processing time and the issuance of a permit. The findings also revealed that information sharing among disputants played a significant role in the process of froming and reframing. The alternative idea, building cooperation through negotiation, was proposed to provide new insight into the resolution of the dispute.
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