Natural Resource Governance

Governance of Natural Resource Policies and ProgramsGroup of people

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.

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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.

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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.

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For recent results, see: