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Success and Watershed Group Formation within Michigan and the United States: 

Success and Watershed Group Formation within Michigan and the United States Julia Kalloz (REU, Villanova University) Faculty Advisors: K. Halvorsen and A. Mayer (Michigan Technological U), Graduate Student Advisor: Gerald Greer (MTU) Over the past 15 years the number of local watershed management partnerships in the United States have increased significantly. This is because of increased government support and the recognition that partnerships are efficient in not only reducing non-point source pollution, but addressing unique local concerns. Partnerships are voluntary organizations that include citizens, landowners, governmental leaders, agency representatives, business leaders, and environmental groups. They define problems by geographical boundaries instead of political and provide an alternative to regulation. Researchers have defined partnership success, but the literature does not explain how the participants define success. The literature also does not explain the importance of state policy in partnership formation. Our question is: What role does the context of Michigan’s policy play in not only why groups form, but how groups define success? Introduction Reduces conflict, increases consensus (Bentrup 2001; Duram and Brown, 1997) Increases community awareness (Konisky and Beierle, 2001) Addresses important social goals and community values (Blomquist and Schlager, 2005; Milich and Varady, 2001) The EPA gives authority to states to distribute Clean Water Act Section 319 grants, which are designated for non-point source management programs. Because of this, there is significant variability in the priority each state gives to watershed management planning. In Oregon there are multiple state funding opportunities, a centralized state agency in charge of watersheds, and accessible information. Michigan has limited funding, decentralized authority and out of date information. We conducted a literature review of the relevant sociological research and now are interviewing approximately 70 individuals who run/ran watershed groups in MI. 16 have been completed. To determine the number and contact information of Michigan watershed groups we used the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Purdue University CTIC Know Your Watershed, and the River Network watershed group databases. Our response rate is not yet determined. We interviewed each contact using a set group of questions designed to determine why watershed groups form in Michigan and how they define success. Why the focus on public participation? Why Michigan? Methods Preliminary Results Environmental Success -The implementation of management plans (Browning-Aiken et al., 2004; Webler et al., 2003) - Improving the watershed (Bentrup, 2001; Imperial, 2005; Merrick and Garcia, 2004) The Creation of a Management Plan The Existence of a High Quality Group Process (Michaels, 2001) Social Success - Increased social capital (Adams et al., 2005) - Increased public awareness (Dakins et al., 2005) - Economic Impacts (Johnson and Campbell, 1999) Researchers define success as… Biophysical Context - Problem Severity (Wooley and McGinnis, 1999; Browning-Aiken 2004) - Geographic Scale (Cheng and Daniels, 2003) High Quality Group Process (Michaels, 2001) Community Trust (Adams et al., 2005) Policy Context (Michaels, 2001) Access to Information and Funding Why do Groups Succeed? Adams, J., S. Kraft., J. Ruhl., C. Lant., T. Loftus., and L. Duram. 2005. Watershed planning: Pseudo-democracy and its alternatives—the case of the Cache River Watershed, Illinois. Agriculture and Human Values 22(3)327-338. Bentrup, G. 2001. Evaluation of a Collaborative Model: a Case Study Analysis of Watershed Planning in the Intermountain West. Environmental Management 27(5)739-748. Blomquist, W. and E. Schlager. 2005. Political Pitfalls of Integrated Watershed Management. Society and Natural Resources 18 (2): 101-117. Browning-Aiken, A., H. Richter., D. Goodrich., B. Strain., and R. Varady. 2004. Upper San Pedro Basin: Fostering Collaborative Binational Watershed Management. Water Resources Development 20(3)354-367 Cheng. A.S., and S.E. Daniels. 2003. Examining the Interaction Between Geographic Scale and Ways of Knowing in Ecosystem Management: A Case Study of Place—Based Collaborative Planning. Forest Science. 49 (6): 841-854. Dakins, Maxine E., J.D.Long, and M.Hart. 2005. Collaborative Environmental Decision Making in Oregon Watershed Groups: Perceptions of Effectiveness. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 41 (1) 171-180. Duram, L.A., and K.G. Brown. 1999. Assessing Public Participation in U.S. Watershed Planning Initiatives. Society and Natural Resources 12(5)455-467 Merrick, J. R.W., and M.W. Garcia. Summer 2004. Using Value—Focused Thinking to Improve Watersheds. Journal of American Planning Association. 70 (3): 313-327. Michaels, S. 2001. Making Collaborative Watershed Management Work: The Confluence of State and Regional Initiatives. Environmental Management 27(1)27-35 Milich, L. & Varady, R. G. 1999. Openness, Sustainability, and Public Participation: New Designs for Transboundary River Basin Initiatives. Journal of Environment and Development8(3)258-306 Johnson, B.R., and R. Campbell. 1999. Ecology and Participation in Landscape-Based Planning Within the Pacific Northwest. Policy Studies Journal 27(3)502-529 Webler, T., S.Tuler., I. Shockey., P. Stern., and R. Beattie. 2003. Participation by Local Governmental Officials in Watershed Management Planning. Society and Natural Resources. 16 (2): 105-121. Woolley, J.T., and M.V. McGinnis. 1999. The politics of watershed policy-making. Policy Studies Journal 27 (3) 578-594. References Thanks to Kathleen Halvorsen, Alex Mayer, Gerald Greer, Jim Milhelcic, Shalini Suryanarayana The Sustainability REU project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC 0453174. Acknowledgements Of the 16 interviewed individuals, all said that the group formed because of an environmental problem. However, while 9 out of 16 also define success environmentally, 14 out of 16 now define success by high quality group process or social impact. Three significant parts of group process and social success are group longevity, public participation, and increased community watershed awareness. These individuals may see group process and social impacts as important successes because work on the watershed is never finished, there are more people to tell about the watershed and more problems to address. The community and its members are very important. This is why sustainability is not only about the environment. It’s about people.

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