In our increasingly polarized society, there are constant calls for compromise, for coming together. For many, these are empty talking points—for Lucy Moore, they are a life's work. As an environmental mediator, she has spent the past quarter century resolving conflicts that appeared utterly intractable. Here, she shares the most compelling stories of her career, offering insight and inspiration to anyone caught in a seemingly hopeless dispute. Moore has worked on wide-ranging ...
In our increasingly polarized society, there are constant calls for compromise, for coming together. For many, these are empty talking points—for Lucy Moore, they are a life's work. As an environmental mediator, she has spent the past quarter century resolving conflicts that appeared utterly intractable. Here, she shares the most compelling stories of her career, offering insight and inspiration to anyone caught in a seemingly hopeless dispute.
Moore has worked on wide-ranging issues—from radioactive waste storage to loss of traditional grazing lands. More importantly, she has worked with diverse groups and individuals: ranchers, environmental activists, government agencies, corporations, tribal groups, and many more. After decades spent at the negotiating table, she has learned that a case does not turn on facts, legal merit, or moral superiority. It turns on people.
Through ten memorable stories, she shows how issues of culture, personality, history, and power affect negotiations. And she illustrates that equitable solutions depend on a healthy group dynamic. Both the mediator and opposing parties must be honest, vulnerable, open, and respectful. Easier said than done, but Moore proves that subtle shifts can break the logjam and reconcile even the most fiercely warring factions.
This book should be especially appealing to anyone concerned with environmental conflicts; and also to students in environmental studies, political science, and conflict resolution, and to academics and professionals in mediation and conflict resolution fields.
Moore (Into the Canyon: Seven Years in Navajo Country) has spent most of her life trying to get parties who disagree with each other to sit down, talk, and resolve their disputes in a mutually satisfactory way. In this sometimes inspiring, often repetitive book, Moore regales us with tales of her experiences mediating conflicts involving water rights, toxic waste disposal, ranching, reservoir management, and sheepherding. For example, Moore learns early on that the more she allows people to share their stories, the more they recognize why others bring certain issues to the table. As she mediates a conversation between sheepherders and environmentalists in New Mexico in 1990, she counsels the groups to “listen with respect, speak one at a time, avoid personal attacks, and to commit to work in good faith.” She shares a few significant principles of conflict resolution that emerge from these meetings: if various parties are not open to change or compromise, it’s not likely to happen, no matter how many meetings you have; taking field trips can help individuals bond and understand the issues; each party needs to respect divergent opinions. In this hybrid instruction manual and memoir, Moore offers the perhaps too-simple lesson that we can be better negotiators if we are honest, vulnerable, open, and respectful. (July)
University of Colorado Law School
- Charles Wilkinson
"Alternative dispute resolution is one of the main impulses in American law today, and this is notably true in environmental law. Lucy Moore, a creative and successful mediator, takes us inside the negotiating rooms and shows how listening, respect, and opening up are not homilies—they are the sturdy foundations for building true and lasting results."
Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT, and founder, Consensus
- Larry Susskind
"Lucy Moore is an environmental mediator with decades of experience in the American Southwest and great stories to tell. In fact, storytelling is the key to her success as a professional mediator and facilitator. As she explains with great impact and poignancy, the only way to help people enmeshed in difficult resource management conflicts is to get them to share their stories. Newcomers to the field will learn invaluable lessons from Lucy's firsthand accounts."
"An environmental and public-policy mediator, Moore has managed conflict resolution across an impressive and impassioned array of controversial subjects. Offering specific case studies from nearly a quarter century on the front lines of civic confrontations, Moore engagingly profiles the qualities required to help individuals and groups make critical choices and come to consensus, painlessly and respectfully."
Santa Fe New Mexican
"follows the gratifying and sometimes frustrating twists and turns inherent in Lucy Moore's career as an environmental mediator....the stakes are high and the conflicts dramatic enough to make it thought-provoking for a general readership....Moore offers a series of stories of her own that are often riveting as they unfold."
Strategy and Business
"engaging and thoughtful... teases out some of the lessons she has learned about getting people with sometimes radically different backgrounds and perspectives to come together and undertake change."
"It should be of interest to anyone concerned with environmental conflicts and students in environmental studies."
Reference & Research Book News
"... retellings are interesting and ultimately helped her to learn increasing better methods of mediation. This accessible book is a good way to learn about conflicts involving Superfund sites or nuclear waste management."
San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
"The tales together present an intricate and complex field. The thoughtful exploration here will also serve academics and professionals in the field."
High Country News
"Moore's examples are varied and compelling, and offer instructive lessons on resolving the critical issues that face the West as population and mobility increase and resources dwindle. Her voice is passionate, reasoned and articulate, yet seasoned throughout with the vulnerability she deems so essential to conflict resolution."
"To read Common Ground on Hostile Turf: Stories from an Environmental Mediator is to pass many delightful hours 'being there' with Lucy Moore....It doesn't hurt that much of the turf is the spectacular terrain of New Mexico, captured beautifully in Lucy's simple, unobtrusive prose"
President Emeritus, RESOLVE
- Gail Bingham
"For three decades, Lucy Moore has opened my heart and mind with her stories. She brings to life those times when 'trust and respect among adversaries are possible' and offers us a path forward critical to our future. Regardless of the troubles people find themselves in, a way opens when we can tell our stories to one another—and when we listen."
New Mexico Mercury
"[Common Ground on Hostile Turf is] about successes, failures, and outcomes that contain elements of both. It's about helping to build relationships of trust in order to undertake collective action to further a common purpose, but also—not incidentally—for the sake of the relationships themselves."
President Emeritus, RESOLVE
- Gail Bingham
“For three decades, Lucy Moore has opened my heart and mind with her stories. She brings to life those times when ‘trust and respect among adversaries are possible’ and offers us a path forward critical to our future. Regardless of the troubles people find themselves in, a way opens when we can tell our stories to one another—and when we listen.”
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Encountering Hostile Turf
Chapter 3. The Power of Story
Chapter 4. Sheep in the Wilderness
Chapter 5. Finding Common Ground
Chapter 6. The Army Corps Takes Orders
Chapter 7. A Rugged Road
Chapter 8. So Close to Consensus
Chapter 9. When the Past Won't Go Away
Chapter 10. When Cookies Aren't Enough
Chapter 11. Tribes Take the Lead
Chapter 12. Conclusion