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A Systematic Assessment of Collaborative Resource Management Partnerships


A Master's Project completed for the School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan
Chrissy Coughlin, Merrick Hoben, Dirk Manskopf, Shannon Quesada
Advised by Professor Julia Wondolleck
April 1999




Out of the progressive field of environmental conflict management, a new genre of collaboration is currently breeding controversy in the environmental arena. Community-Based Collaborative Resource Management Partnerships are wide-ranging and include such diverse initiatives as watershed councils, Resource Advisory Councils and sustainable communities efforts. They include ad hoc partnerships like the Malpai Borderlands Group and the Applegate Partnership. Small and large, formal and informal, the sheer numbers and diversity of these initiatives has sparked a confusing and contentious debate about the appropriate focus and scope of direct citizen involvement in environmental planning and management.


This masters project, completed in 1999, systematically analyzes the growing popularity of community-based resource management groups (collaborative partnerships).


The full report is available in PDF Format:


Part 1: Background and Literature Review
Introduction: The Growth of Collaborative Resource Partnerships in the U.S.
Critiques of Collaboration: The Issues behind the Controversy
Dimensions of Variation: Mapping the Terrain


Part 2: Case Studies
Animas River Stakeholders Group
Blackfoot Challenge
Clark County Habitat Conservation Planning Process
Darby Partnership
McKenzie Watershed Council
Nanticoke Watershed Alliance
Northwest Resource Advisory Council
Owl Mountain Partnership
Scott River Coordinated Resource Management Council

Three-Quarter Circle Ranch Coordinated Resource Management Group


Part 3: Analysis and Conclusions
Why Collaboration and Alternatives
Ensuring Representation
Accommodating Diverse Interests
Accommodating Diverse Capabilities
Dealing with the Scientific Dimensions of Issues

Final Conclusions




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