This paper presents a case study of controversy associated with large confined animal feed operations (CAFOs) on Sand Mountain in the northeast corner of Alabama, the tail-end of the Appalachian Mountains. We examine competing cultural frames developed by supporters and opponents of CAFOs that produce hogs. Both sides of the CAFO controversy utilize locally-specific cultural understandings of private property. Those opposed have framed their concerns both in terms of formal environmental standards of regulatory agencies and the responsibility of landowners not to engage in activities that adversely affect neighboring land owners. CAFO operators have framed the issue by drawing upon local traditions of individual rights over how one uses land, while calling upon reciprocal social relationships that stretch across multiple generations to win support or mute opposition. The controversy has spilled over into the legislative and regulatory arenas, where tradition-based cultural frames are repeated but in different forms.

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