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Scholars have succeeded in producing several explanations for why groups choose to pursue their policymaking goals in different venues. A synthetic framework that explains the choices these groups make is developed through two case studies describing a conflict over the environmental problem of agricultural field burning. Emergent, boundedly rational, groups with a mission to clear the air of the pollutants associated with field burning, are found to be choosing venues by strategically assessing the institutional context. The particular institutional context that matters involves three primary elements: the group’s mix of resources, opponents’ resource strengths, and the degree of venue accessibility. These initial choices allow groups to generate new resources, to learn about which strategies do and do not work, and to change venues on the basis of their new resources and what they have learned.