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Social and Biophysical Context Influences County-level Support for Collaborative Watershed Restoration: Case Study of the Sacramento River, CA, USA

Social and Biophysical Context Influences County-level Support for Collaborative Watershed... <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>Collaborative watershed management is an increasingly common practice with the potential to be more effective than top-down approaches. One critical issue I investigate here is regional differences in collaborative governance context, process, and outcomes within large-scale collaborative watershed restoration. Using interviews, document review, direct observation, and analysis of employment, population, voting, and land use data, I examine differences in socioeconomic, political, and biophysical context among four counties in California, US within a large-scale collaborative watershed restoration project. I relate these factors to differences in collaborative processes and environmental and social outcomes. The four rural agricultural-based counties had different socioeconomic and biophysical concerns associated with large-scale restoration. Flood risk, type of agriculture, and local advocacy organizations emerged as important factors influencing support for collaborative restoration within the watershed. Although individual farmers in all four counties sold their land to restoration practitioners in similar proportions, there were differences in area restored among the counties. Only 3% of the purchased properties were restored in the county with the highest level of irrigated cropland and highest flood risk, while 26–38% of the purchased properties were restored in the other three counties. Multi-benefit projects that target issues important to the community (i.e., recreation or flood control) can reduce opposition as can mitigation and minimization of negative effects of restoration on crops, and co-developing knowledge with stakeholders.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Restoration University of Wisconsin Press

Social and Biophysical Context Influences County-level Support for Collaborative Watershed Restoration: Case Study of the Sacramento River, CA, USA

Ecological Restoration , Volume 34 (4) – Nov 2, 2016

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1543-4079

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>Collaborative watershed management is an increasingly common practice with the potential to be more effective than top-down approaches. One critical issue I investigate here is regional differences in collaborative governance context, process, and outcomes within large-scale collaborative watershed restoration. Using interviews, document review, direct observation, and analysis of employment, population, voting, and land use data, I examine differences in socioeconomic, political, and biophysical context among four counties in California, US within a large-scale collaborative watershed restoration project. I relate these factors to differences in collaborative processes and environmental and social outcomes. The four rural agricultural-based counties had different socioeconomic and biophysical concerns associated with large-scale restoration. Flood risk, type of agriculture, and local advocacy organizations emerged as important factors influencing support for collaborative restoration within the watershed. Although individual farmers in all four counties sold their land to restoration practitioners in similar proportions, there were differences in area restored among the counties. Only 3% of the purchased properties were restored in the county with the highest level of irrigated cropland and highest flood risk, while 26–38% of the purchased properties were restored in the other three counties. Multi-benefit projects that target issues important to the community (i.e., recreation or flood control) can reduce opposition as can mitigation and minimization of negative effects of restoration on crops, and co-developing knowledge with stakeholders.</p>

Journal

Ecological RestorationUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Nov 2, 2016

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