Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Steve Selin.


In recent years, population increases in gateway communities has led to developers wanting to development adjacent to public lands. Although gateway community developments provides economic benefits such as increases in jobs and tax revenues, the population increase can cause a negative change in the landscape of the public land. As a result, public land managers are approaching more collaborative ways to engage in land use planning.;The purpose of this study was to assess the level of support for collaborative land use planning in and around the New River Gorge National River in Fayetteville, WV, particularly focused on the context of rapid population growth in the Fayetteville area. This qualitative analysis used a triangulation method consisting of newspaper articles, documents, and 17 semi-structured interviews of individuals most directly involved in the New River Gorge housing development issue. From that information, we were able to identify an increased need to participate in collaborative land use planning both in the National Park Service (NPS) and stakeholders. We noticed several constraints to collaborative land use planning such as human and financial capacity and community resistance as well as how groups such as the Transition Team and the New River Working Group can better enhance collaborative land use planning efforts. Finally, we identified several keys to successful collaborative land use planning such as building relationships and better NPS engagement. For that reason, public land use managers and planners will be able to work with community members and with their help, make more effective policies and planning decisions.