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Transboundary Collaboration in Ecosystem Management:
Integrating Lessons from Experience

A Master's Project completed for the School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan
Elizabeth Harris, Chase Huntley, William Mangle, Naureen Rana
Advised by Professors Julia Wondolleck and Steve Yaffee
April 17, 2001


The management of natural resource systems that span an international border is often complicated by a lack of coordination and communication between the stakeholders who are responsible for their stewardship. In some areas, stakeholders have taken a collaborative approach to managing these transboundary resources. However, effective transboundary collaboration can be difficult, as the presence of an international border often intensifies the barriers to the development of a collaborative process.


This study highlights the experiences of eight collaborative efforts operating across either the U.S.-Canada or U.S.-Mexico borders. The lessons distilled from these efforts are intended to inform general transboundary practitioners, as well as those agencies and organizations that are working to develop a transboundary effort in the Flathead River Basin of Montana and British Columbia.


The Following Chapters and Case Studies are available in PDF Format:

Executive Summary (6 pages)

The Full Report


Table of Contents

  • Bibliography

Part I: Background, Analysis, and Integration

  • Introduction
  • The Flathead Situation
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Findings and Analysis
  • Stewardship of the Transboundary Flathead
  • Conclusion

Part II: Case Studies (each file is a separate PDF document)

Appendix A: Case Study Summaries of transboundary efforts that were not selected for in-depth analysis:

  • Big Bend Region
  • The Garrison Diversion Unit Project
  • Great Lakes United
  • The Great Plains Partnership
  • The International Porcupine Caribou Board
  • Kootenai River White Sturgeon
  • Laguna Madre Binational Initiative
  • The Milk-St. Mary's Watershed
  • North Cascades Ecosystem
  • Rio Grande Basin Coalition
  • The Souris River Basin
  • Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Park
  • Tijuana River Watershed Project
  • Upper Columbia River Basin
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