Water resource managers and policymakers are increasingly turning to a watershed approach using hydrologic rather than political boundaries to address water resource problems. However, transboundary, interjurisdictional water resource management can be especially challenging for local government officials and citizens. This thesis examines community capacity for sustainable watershed management within two southeastern Minnesota mixed land use and multi-jurisdictional watersheds. Specific objectives were to describe and compare conditions and capacities that promote or constrain sustainable watershed management from the perspective of water resource professionals, government officials and active community members. Data were gathered though 49 key informant interviews conducted with resource professionals, community decision makers and active residents in 2011and 2012 and analyzed using grounded theory and comparative analysis. Findings indicate the importance of fairness, trust and legitimacy in relation to community capacity for sustainable watershed management. The emergence of fairness, trust and legitimacy in this study indicate a new aspect of community capacity: foundational conditions. As foundational conditions, they allow previously identified actionable capacities to be leveraged in response to community needs, in this case, sustainable watershed management. Implications for resource managers are discussed.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. November 2014. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisor: Mae A. Davenport. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 75 pages.
The foundations of community capacity: an exploration of the role of fairness, trust and legitimacy in sustainable watershed management.
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