University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
http://www.cfans.umn.edu
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Department of Forest Resources

Center for Environment & Natural Resource Policy

Natural Resource Governance

Governance of Natural Resource Policies and Programs

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The last four decades has seen an unprecedented expansion of public policies and programs directed at environmental protection and natural resource management. This growth has occurred at all levels of government and has resulted in public environmental and natural resource authorities becoming increasingly diverse in their mission and the manner in which they organize. We carried out a number of studies to better characterize and evaluate the economic, institutional, and legal arrangements that support sustainable natural resource management and environmental stewardship in the US. 

Funding support:

Publications

Ellefson, P.V., C.M. Hibbard, and M.A. Kilgore. 2007. Intergovernmental roles and responsibilities involving nonfederal forests in the United States: an assessment of federal and state conditions. Society and Natural Resources 20:561-575.

Ellefson, P.V., C.M. Hibbard, and M.A. Kilgore. 2006. Managing across levels of government: evaluation of federal-state roles and responsibilities involving nonfederal forests in the United States. Forest Policy and Economics 8(6):652-666.

Ellefson, P.V., C.M. Hibbard, and M.A. Kilgore. 2003. Federal and state agencies and programs focused on nonfederal forests in the United States: an assessment of intergovernmental roles and responsibilities (.pdf). Staff Paper Series no. 167.  St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.

Ellefson, P.V., C.M. Hibbard, M.A. Kilgore, and J.E. Granskog. 2002. Legal, institutional, and economic indicators of forest conservation and sustainable management: Review and evaluation of available information in the United States (.pdf). Staff Paper Series no. 163. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.

Ellefson, P.V., and M.A. Kilgore. 2005. State government agencies and authorities affecting the use and management of forests in the northern United States (.pdf). Staff Paper Series no. 179.  St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.

Ellefson, P.V., M.A. Kilgore, and C.M. Hibbard. 2007. Forest resource management in the North: dealing with a labyrinth of state agencies and authorities. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 24(1):74-76.

Ellefson, P.V., M.A. Kilgore, and R.J. Moulton. 2000. Fragmentation of forest resource agencies and programs: Challenges facing state and federal governments in the United States. In International Union of Forestry Research Organization’s XXI World Congress. Kula Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ellefson, P.V., R.J. Moulton, and M.A. Kilgore. 2003. Public agencies and bureaus responsible for forest management and protection: An assessment of the fragmented institutional landscape of state governments in the United States. Forest Policy and Economics 5(2003):207-223.

Ellefson, P.V., R.J. Moulton, and M.A. Kilgore. 2001. Programs and organizations affecting the use, management, and protection of forest: An assessment of agencies located across the organizational landscape of state governments. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota. 

Kilgore, M.A., C. Hibbard, and P.V. Ellefson. 2006. Comprehensive strategic planning for the use and management of forest resources: The experiences of state governments in the United States. Forest Policy and Economics 9(1):42-49.

Kilgore, M.A. and R. Salk. 2003. An assessment of state forest resource planning programs in the northeast United States (.pdf). Staff Paper Series no. 170. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.

Kilgore, M.A., R. Salk, C. Carpenter, and T. Prichard. 2005. State forest resource planning programs in the northeast United States. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 22(4):221-228.

Schroeder, J., D.R. Becker, and M.A. Kilgore. 2011. State forestry programs, budget strategies, and the recession (.pdf). Staff Paper no. 213. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.


Environmental Review and Impact Analysis

Techniques for measuring social impacts and procedures for environmental review are the focus of this area of research. Specific projects include development of assessment tools, review of institutional structures guiding review processes, and state procedures and practices for conducting environmental review.  We also look at the practice of cumulative impact assessment as an emerging area of research.

Funding by:

For recent results see:

Aylesworth, R.J., D.R. Becker, and M.A. Kilgore. 2008. Benchmarking Minnesota's environmental review and permitting processes for forestry and mining industries: a comparative assessment (.pdf). Staff Paper Series no. 195. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.

Becker, D.R., C.C. Harris, E.A. Nielsen, and W.J. McLaughlin. 2004. A comparison of a technical and a participatory application of social impact assessment (.pdf). Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 22(3):177-189.

Ma, Z., D.R. Becker, and M.A. Kilgore. 2009. Assessing cumulative impacts within state environmental review frameworks in the United States (.pdf). Environmental Impact Assessment Review 29(6):390-398.

Ma, Z., D.R. Becker, and M.A. Kilgore. 2009. Characterizing the landscape of state environmental review policies and procedures in the United States: A national assessment (.pdf). Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 52(8):1035-1051.

Ma, Z., D.R. Becker, and M.A. Kilgore. 2009. The integration of cumulative environmental impact assessments and state environmental review frameworks (.pdf). Staff Paper Series no. 201. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.


Stakeholder Participation and Agency Decision Making

Stakeholder engagement in agency decision making has become common practice in watershed planning efforts. Collaborative processes and other forms of public engagement offer mechanisms for including community members and interested stakeholders in management outcomes. They may also improve the quality of management decisions. This research examines the benefits of stakeholder engagement from a variety of perspectives, barriers to their participation, and institutional arrangements necessary. This research also investigates the role of agency decision making in coordinating management outcomes.

Funding by:

For recent results, see:

*Lehr, N., and D.R. Becker. 2010. Shifting paths to conservation: policy change discourses and the 2008 US farm bill (.pdf) Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 53(5):639-655.

Steiger-Meister, K., and D.R. Becker. 2009. The role of local stakeholders in water resource management: characterization and diffusion of Minnesota Lake Improvement Districts (.pdf) Staff Paper Series no. 202. St. Paul, MN: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.