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Abstract

Dialogue related to GE issues is often polarizing due to the broad range of often-conflicting perspectives and the level of passion that many bring to this topic. Recognizing this challenge, in 2014 the Governor of the State of Oregon created a task force to bring representatives of diverse interests together to help frame the issues so that decision-makers would have an opportunity to consider the issues in a way that reflected the full range of perspectives. The purpose of the task force was not to develop consensus recommendations, but rather to help ensure that the full range of issues of concern to stakeholders was identified and understood. In examining the challenges of coexistence, the task force surfaced governance approaches, risk, liability and compensation, and communication as important considerations. While the decision not to seek consensus recommendations may have limited the report’s impact in subsequent legislative discussions, the effort to characterize issues of concern may have laid useful groundwork for the future. This paper presents the highlights of the task force’s discussions regarding coexistence issues and explores the implications for this type of process in terms of advancing exploration of coexistence strategies.

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