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--> 8 Planning and Decisionmaking A key question underlying all watershed planning is: What is an effective process to relate science, policy, and public participation? Watershed planning demands integrated thinking and a coordinated approach. Perhaps the greatest contemporary concern is to provide meaningful public involvement in the process, because experience has shown that top-down planning can create a variety of implementation barriers grounded in the lack of public involvement at key points in the planning process. For instance, the public may oppose environmental regulations that are perceived to be unjust or ineffective. Or they may oppose a particular land use based on their perceptions of the risk involved, which may or may not be accurate. Although public concerns are often justified, at times they are rooted in the lack of accurate knowledge and lack of involvement in the analysis and decisionmaking process. Even when the public is involved in the planning process, it may still be ineffective if other factors are not integrated into the planning process at key steps along the way. One problem often cited is "getting the political process cart before the scientific horse." Naiman et al., (1995) characterize this situation as follows: Scientists, managers, and politicians are routinely called on to address competing demands on freshwater supplies and ecosystems, but they are increasingly unable to respond at scales commensurate with the issues. Why? Policy development and management activities are frequently undertaken without an adequate empirical foundation; inappropriately short-term, single focus approaches are accepted with little question; human-caused change is often difficult to distinguish from natural variation; and even when relevant data are available to guide decisionmaking, the legal and regulatory framework is inadequate.
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--> Consequently, the criteria for effective management and policy decisions are ambiguous. This chapter discusses some important considerations regarding the integration of science, policy, and public participation in watershed management. It considers the role of science and its relation to policy, as well as stakeholder involvement. Watershed planning and management is increasingly collaborative, raising questions about the nature of democratic decisionmaking, equity among stakeholders, and the need for the involvement of an informed public. This chapter considers these broad issues, presents six critical points that should be considered in the conduct of watershed planning, and reviews the planning procedures of six federal agencies in terms of these critical points. Relating Science And Decisionmaking Improving the interface between science and policy and between scientists and politicians remains one of the major challenges to watershed management. It is difficult enough to manage land and water resources at small spatial and short temporal scales, but to formulate management plans for the larger, longer scales often requires complex systems of governance and advanced science. It is common to hear scientists complaining that their voices are being ignored by policymakers. Watersheds have taken on increasing importance in establishing a context for federal, state, and local policy. Some objectives are directly related to water, including water supply management, flood control, water quality protection, sediment control, fisheries conservation, navigation, and hydroelectric generation. Others are related but less focused on water, including maintenance of biological diversity, wildlife management, and general environmental preservation. Broader goals like recreation and economic development are also sometimes cast as watershed issues. Which of these problems can be effectively addressed at the watershed level? Answering this question leads to an important first step in the planning process: defining the problem and setting clear objectives. Science plays an important role at this stage of the planning. The recent National Academy of Sciences report, Understanding Risk (Stem and Fineberg, 1996), provides a cogent summary of the challenge involved in integrating science into environmental management. First, the planning process must get the science right: The underlying analysis meets high scientific standards in terms of measurement, analytic methods, data bases used, plausibility of assumptions, and respectfulness of both the magnitude and the character of uncertainty, taking into consideration limitations that may have been placed on the analysis because of the level of effort judged appropriate for informing the decision.
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--> Second, the planning process must get the right science: The analysis has addressed the significant risk-related concerns of public officials and the spectrum of interested and affected parties, such as risks to health, economic well-being, and ecological and social values, with analytic priorities having been set so as to emphasize the issues most relevant to the decision. Watershed planning and management makes some particular demands of science. To begin with, science must play a major role in creating a robust knowledge base from which problems and objectives can be clearly defined and solutions effectively implemented. Comprehensive solutions also require interdisciplinary collaboration in the analysis and interpretation of watershed data. While this process will yield clear answers to some questions, it may also lead to new questions for which there are no unambiguous answers. When faced with complexity and uncertainty, watershed planning and management must make provisions for ongoing monitoring and basic science research (Stanford and Poole, 1996). Planning procedures seldom devote adequate attention to the integration of science into the process. For example, as the EPA describes its ''watershed approach," the process sounds analytical and seems well thought out. The watershed management plan emerging from this framework is expected to be founded on "sound science," "efficient public program administration" and "broad participation of stakeholders" (EPA, 1993). The proposed approach, says EPA, will analyze barriers to meeting water quality and quantity goals, define solutions in land use and environmental planning strategies, and monitor progress in order to adjust strategies as needed. However, the EPA literature offers little definition of what is meant by good science or what the technical requirements are. Nor does the literature tell how the steps in planning are to be applied. The often unspoken message is that in most cases we know what to do—we just need to do it. Watershed management sounds like a world of few trade-offs and no value conflicts other than those that are misunderstandings. Conflict is accommodated by dialogue. Watershed planning exercises sometimes can be described as the accumulation of agreements to support politically conceived projects. As a result there may be little interest in scientific analysis or in the systematic and critical assessment of trade-offs and cost effectiveness in the utilization of limited resources. But these impressions are at best simplistic and at times incorrect. Watershed management is both institutionally and scientifically complex, and there is significant need for new and more in-depth knowledge on both fronts before we can be more effective implementing watershed approaches. These are critical oversights, for the limited nature of watershed resources cannot be ignored. Decision-support methods will need to be more widely employed to better search out cost-efficient ways to achieve goals. Decision-analysis methods are formal protocols for manipulating and interpreting data in order to
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--> provide information on the relationships between any alternative goals. The tools of decision analysis include cost/benefit analysis, risk assessments, and multi-criteria evaluation, but may also include less comprehensive assessments such as cost-effectiveness studies that identify the lowest cost means to achieve an objective, and/or evaluations of a solution's political and legal feasibility. To make these tools work for decisionmaking, sound science is needed to predict the effects of alternative courses of action and policies on hydrologic, ecological, and social/economic parameters of interest. Whether the interest is in predicting sediment and nutrient transport, hydrologic and hydraulic effects of landscape alterations and restorations, or related problems, there must be attention to building and using predictive models that can address hydrologic, ecological, social, and economic outcomes of particular management actions. However, the incorporation of sound science in policy-making and planning is often easier said than done. Lee (1993) points out that science and politics serve different purposes: The spectrum from truth to power places a crucial constraint on civic science: in learning to manage large ecosystems we cannot rely on philosopher-kings. So there must be a partnership between the science of ecosystems and the political tasks of governing. As in any partnership, the relationship between principal and agent is inevitably problematic at some points. In politics the goal is the responsible use of the power to govern, and in democratic societies "responsible" means accountable to voters. In science the goal is to find truth, and accountability usually rests with one's peers. Figure 8.1 shows how scientists and policymakers are at opposite extremes. As Lee observes, trouble often begins when one person attempts to play several roles simultaneously, for success is rarely achieved in more than one arena at a time. Attempts to move freely from one role to another often lead individuals away from their areas of expertise—a behavior that ultimately reduces both their knowledge and their power. Yet it is not inappropriate role-playing alone that leads to management difficulties. Institutions are often not designed to incorporate scientific knowledge in an adaptive way. Table 8.1, adapted from Lee (1993), lists examples of institutional barriers to the principles of adaptive management. There is increasing awareness of the need for adaptive strategies in the management in complex systems like watersheds. For example, Bella (1997) points out that the organizational systems of technological society are complex, adapting, and nonlinear. Organizational rigidity is often an unintended consequence of organizational functioning. Information that goes against current programs or beliefs, which represents a form of "disorder," tends to be selectively filtered out. The process is shown diagrammatically in Figure 8.2. Consider how this paradigm might apply to watershed management. Institutional programs are designed, with the help of scientists, to improve resource
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--> FIGURE 8.1 The Spectrum from Truth to Power. SOURCE: Reprinted, with permission, from Lee, 1993. © 1993 by Oxford University Press. allocation or to mitigate environmental harm. Governing institutions or agencies fund projects and establish monitoring programs to determine project effectiveness. As long as data support the belief that a program is "working," decisionmakers are happy and scientists continue to be funded. But what happens when data do not support current programs or beliefs? In many cases, appropriate responses (additional studies to verify results, program changes, new management directions) are suppressed in favor of inappropriate responses (ignore the data, terminate monitoring, reassign the investigator). This pattern reflects an inherent institutional tendency to dampen disorder to nondisruptive levels. Bella (1997) suggests that organizational systems tend to be characterized by a dynamic tension between activities that sustain order and those that promote disorder (see Table 8.2). Most politicians, administrators, and many professional analysts rely on behaviors that sustain order. Most scientists do, too, but sometimes their investigations result in data threatening to the established order. Then they are caught in a dilemma. Suppose, for example, a scientist found evidence that a fish hatchery was contributing to the decline of nongame fishes in a watershed. Further suppose that the scientist's agency was unwilling to accept the evidence or deliber-
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--> TABLE 8.1 Barriers to Adaptive, Science-Oriented Management Adaptive Management Principle Barriers to Realization There is a mandate and need to take action in the face of uncertainty. Experimentation and learning are at most secondary objectives in large ecosystems management. experimentation that conflicts with primary objectives will often be pushed aside or not proposed. Decisionmakers usually recognize that they are experimenting. Experimentation is an open admission that there may be no positive return. More generally, specifying the hypotheses that need to be tested raises the risk of perceived failure. Decisionmakers care about improving outcomes over biological time scales. The costs of monitoring, controls, and replication are substantial, and will appear especially high at the outset when compared with the costs of unmonitored trial and error. Individual decisionmakers rarely stay in office over periods of biological significance. We have the ability to measure ecosystem-scale behavior. Data collection is vulnerable to external disruptions such as budget cutbacks, changes in policy, and controversy. After changes in leadership, decisionmakers may not be familiar with the purposes and value of an experimental approach. Interim results may create alarm or a realization that the experimental design was faulty. Controversial changes have the potential to disrupt the experimental program. Theory, models, and field methods are available to estimate and infer ecosystem-scale behavior. Interim results may create panic or a realization that the experimental design was faulty. More generally, experimental findings will suggest changes in policy; controversial changes have the potential to disrupt the experimental program. Hypotheses can be formulated. Accumulating knowledge may shift perceptions of what is worth examining via large-scale experimentation. For this reason, both policymakers and scientists must adjust the trade-offs among experimental and other policy objectives during the implementation process. Organizational culture encourages learning from experience. The advocates of adaptive management are likely to be staff, who have professional incentives to appreciate a complex process and a career situation in which long-term learning can be beneficial. Where there is tension between staff and policy leadership, experimentation can become the focus of an internal struggle for control. There is sufficient stability to measure long-term outcomes; institutional patience is essential. Stability usually depends on factors outside the control of experimenters and managers. SOURCE: Modified from Lee, 1993.
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--> FIGURE 8.2 Dynamics of organizational change and function. SOURCE: Reprinted, with permission, from Bella, 1997. © 1997 from Chapman and Hall. ately chose to ignore it, arguing that the hatchery was politically popular and funding for the hatchery program might be reduced if such findings became public. The scientist might have recourse to other ways of publicizing the data, but doing so might jeopardize his or her job, promote a budget crisis, and upset those in higher positions. In this case the scientist must choose between a course of TABLE 8.2 Dynamic Tension Between Order and Disorder Behaviors that sustain order (reinforced) Behaviors that promote disorder (suppressed) Securing and distributing funds to support revenue-producing activities. Undertaking activities not promoting and possibly threatening the funding and support of activities. Accommodating established arrangements, schedules, assignments, objectives, information channels, and authority. Departing from established arrangements or schedules, going beyond assignments, going outside of information channels or around authority. Gaining approval for activities; shaping behavior to performance evaluations. Acting without and possibly contrary to prior approval; sustaining behaviors not favored by established performance evaluations. SOURCE: Reprint, with permission, from Bella, 1997. © 1997 from Chapman and Hall.
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--> action that favors order (but leads to continued harm) or one that favors disorder (but puts the individual and program at risk, perhaps leading to additional harm). Institutions often respond to unfavorable scientific information by placing the burden of proof on the scientist or engineer who produced the data. A good example noted by Bella (1997) was the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger: because engineers could not prove beyond a doubt that the O-ring design was faulty in prelaunch safety meetings, the decision was made to launch even though there was reasonable doubt in the mind of key technical specialists. In many environmental decisions there is a very high level of uncertainty; scientists cannot predict outcomes with a great degree of precision. The result is a "war of scientists" or, perhaps more commonly, a "war of models" upon which scientists base forecasts. In most cases, the burden of proof falls on those challenging the status quo, and when they are unable to prove conclusively that they are correct, the decision is to continue in the current direction. Providing a more balanced interface between science and policy will be key to better watershed management. Scientists must recognize the legitimate roles of politicians, administrators, and analysts, and maintain a strong loyalty to producing sound, unbiased data. Scientists must also respect the need for institutional stability. Funding for long-term monitoring, so important to adaptive management, depends on this stability. In turn, policymakers must realize that scientists provide the new information that, however uncomfortable in the short-term, yields insight into new policy direction and serves as a check on existing programs. Credible disorder will arise from goals that transcend assignments, incentives, and roles defined by established organizational systems. Watershed management that provides explicitly defined checks and balances between scientists and policymakers is likely to be the most robust over time. Of course, the planning process must build commitments to action, in addition to providing analyses for selecting among alternatives. Science plays a crucial role in this selection of alternatives. As Stanford and Poole (1996) have noted, scientists offer the synthesis of "a central body of knowledge regarding the system and its components." Science provides data and analysis for watershed management, but ultimately policy is formulated on the basis of some societal values, and scientists must recognize this fact. Societies are diverse aggregations of individuals and groups representing a wide range of values. Experience has shown that watershed planning, and environmental management more generally, must take into account the values of all affected stakeholders. Management efforts that into account the complete range of interests will likely be more successful in avoiding concerted opposition and in soliciting public participation in the plan's implementation. However, it must be noted that not all stakeholders have the same political and economic power, and this complicates the process of reaching a solution that truly respects less powerful interests. The revival of interest in watershed approaches to environmental management faces important budgetary constraints and this has led to increasing de-
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--> mands for interagency collaboration. Local communities are playing a much more central role in watershed management. Greater interest in interagency cooperation and the central role of communities presents the need for greater collaboration in the watershed planning process. We discuss these issues below, pointing out how they are related to broader societal issues like democratic decisionmaking and environmental equity. However, we also note that collaborative watershed planning will be most meaningful and effective if the public is educated about environmental issues and can play an informed role in the decisionmaking process. Identifying Stakeholders And Giving Them A Voice Successful collaborative planning requires careful attention to the nature of public participation. The report Understanding Risk (Stem and Fineberg, 1996) again provides us with a useful summary of key issues. According to this report, to be successful the planning process must get the right participation. When this happens, the report explains, The analytic-deliberative process has had sufficiently broad participation to ensure that the important, decision-relevant information enters the process, that the important perspectives are considered, and that the parties' legitimate concerns about inclusiveness and openness are met. Second, the planning process must get the participation right; that is, it must ...[satisfy] the decisionmakers and interested and affected parties that it is responsive to their needs—that their information, viewpoints, and concerns have been adequately represented and taken into account; that they have been adequately consulted; and that their participation has been able to affect the way risk problems are defined and understood. Involvement of relevant stakeholders is complicated by the common lack of corresponding political jurisdiction and watershed boundaries. This raises the question of how a community of interest within a watershed context is defined. When a watershed covers a large area, geographically dispersed and socially diverse groups must be brought together to solve a common problem—yet an institutional foundation to facilitate such community formation may not be available. The mix of stakeholders may differ depending on specific watershed problems, and the community of interest must be defined on a case-by-case basis. This is a daunting task, given the usually uncertain nature of community formation. However, watershed plans can be effectively implemented only if such community definition and formation takes place. There is increasing recognition that if the watershed planning process is not carried out properly, its measures will fail. Many major, federally funded river system projects completed many
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--> scientific studies but resulted in little change in the way land is managed because they failed to take the human dimension fully into account (Moreau, 1994; Weatherford, n.d.). Small-scale issues are usually best resolved at the local level by involving all the relevant stakeholders in planning and decisionmaking. What is needed is a new way of engaging local governments and involving citizens to take information generated by them and others to make changes that create long-term ecological improvements. Successful examples of this approach seem to be found in relatively small watersheds where the local population is convinced of the need for personal involvement in implementing changes that protect local resources but large watershed examples are rare (National Resources Law Center, 1996). Involvement often includes a long-term financial commitment on the part of local communities to a continuing program of watershed protection. The long-term success of a program may depend on local taxpayers, support. Such support cannot be forced on people, but must be achieved though an ongoing process of community involvement and collective learning. A recent nationwide study of ecosystem management found that personnel in about three-fifths of the cases studied considered collaboration to be a factor in facilitating their project's progress. Collaboration was considered important for progress by more project personnel than any other factor (Yaffee et al., 1996). How can such planning be brought about? Collaborative Planning, Democratic Decisionmaking, and Environmental Equity One approach to giving stakeholders voice is collaborative planning. A major focus of the next decade should be to design the institutions of collaboration. A basic feature of this effort is the development of an ethic of "shared leadership." When faced with significant issues, responsible agencies and interests will increasingly need to decide who should participate in a collaborative planning process to address the concerns at hand. The collaborative planning process looks much like the "scoping process" originally contemplated by the National Environmental Policy Act. This process focuses on a pressing issue and addresses related matters, provides for consultation with the affected constituency of interests, explores alternative futures and their impacts with appropriate studies and analysis, and narrows the range of acceptable alternatives to be considered by policymakers. Collaborative planning involves diverse community interests within the watershed. It is a way of working together that honors a full spectrum of values and assumes that everyone is responsible for the group's success. There is no one leader and no outside expert telling people what is best for them. Rather, it is the collective effort to develop a vision and then make that vision become a reality. Collaborative planning means bottom-up rather than top-down planning, so it taps collective energy, talent, and inspiration (see Figure 8.3). It means not
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--> FIGURE 8.3 Illustrative planning models. SOURCE: USDA Forest Service, 1993.
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--> should be considered, as well as possible revisions of the candidate solutions. The BOR planning guidelines state explicit criteria to consider in the selection of alternatives. The list of criteria provided suggest alternative values to be considered in the selection of particular solutions. The suggested criteria include relative implementation costs, ease of implementation, costs and benefits of water saved, environmental effects, and the extent to which proposed measures complement or conflict with other measures already in place. While the BOR planning guidelines acknowledge potential conflicts or trade-offs associated with the implementation of a particular plan, they provide no compensation measures in conjunction with plan implementation. Implicit in the guidelines is the assumption that a plan can be developed and implemented that avoids unacceptable trade-offs between different interests. Natural Resources Conservation Service The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides conservation planning and technical assistance to individuals, groups, and units of government and lays out basic planning guidelines in its National Planning Procedures Handbook (U.S. NRCS, 1996). These procedures are intended to assist in the development of plans based on ecological, economic, and social considerations. NRCS presents a three-phase planning process with nine steps. The process is intended to be used in a dynamic, iterative mode. It can be used for a number of planning purposes, one of which is the development of "area-wide conservation plans" for watersheds. The first phase in the NRCS planning process (containing four steps) is data collection and analysis. The initial step in this phase is to identify resource problems, opportunities, and concerns in the watershed. Once the problem has been identified and clearly defined, the next step is to determine specific objectives. These objectives should incorporate the needs of watershed stakeholders and their values in the watershed's management. The third step in the planning process is to collect natural resource, economic, social, and other relevant data on the watershed. Analysis, the fourth step, is intended to provide a basis for the developing and evaluate alternative solutions. NRCS calls for a scientific approach in this step, which establishes cause-and-effect relationships related to the problem under consideration. Results of this analysis may be used to redefine the problem. The collection and analysis of data in the first phase is intended to provide a benchmark for subsequent analysis of progress in problem resolution. Missing, however, is explicit consideration of the appropriate watershed scale related to the problem identified. The failure to directly address this issue might be because the National Planning Procedures Handbook is a generic document that was not written specifically for watershed management. It would seem that explicit consideration of the appropriate watershed scale could be incorporated into Step Four, "analysis," and into the problem reformulation emerging from the analysis.
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--> NRCS labels the second phase of its planning process, "decision support." This phase begins with the critical fifth step of "alternative formulation." The purpose of this step is to "develop alternatives that will achieve the objectives of the . . . stakeholders, solve identified problems, take advantage of opportunities, and prevent additional problems from occurring (U.S. NRCS, 1996)." The NRCS explicitly calls for the development of multiple alternatives that allow for choices based on various criteria that address the cultural, social, ecological, and economic conditions of the watershed. These criteria are identified by means of active stakeholder involvement that includes the public, special interest groups, and state and federal agencies. To this end, NRCS advocates "coordinated resource management,'' a collaborative, nonadversarial decisionmaking process. According to NRCS (1996), "A guiding principle of coordinated resource management is that those who live, work, and recreate on a given piece of land are the people most interested in and capable of developing plans for its use." Step six is the evaluation of alternatives. This evaluation considers trade-offs between the alternatives taking into account social, economic, and ecological factors. The seventh step in this phase of the planning process is decisionmaking. According to the NCRS handbook, decisions are taken by the responsible party after public review and comment are obtained. Implicit in the NRCS planning process is the assumption that an alternative can be found that does not disproportionately burden any stakeholders with costs. Consequently, the NRCS planning process does not explicitly discuss compensation measures. NCRS does acknowledge the need to carefully consider social and economic considerations in the planning process. For example, NRCS (1996) notes, "Some social and ethnic groups have land use ethics that may conflict with some NCRS conservation practices." However, the NRCS planning handbook gives the impression that merely taking these factors into consideration will ensure success. Once a plan is chosen, the process enters Phase Three, "application." The two steps in this phase are plan implementation and evaluation. According to NRCS, the plan is to be evaluated upon implementation to determine if it is meeting objectives. Plans are adjusted based on the results of evaluation. Such evaluation is expected to be an ongoing process. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has long-standing planning procedures. These consist of four principal elements. The first of these elements is problem definition and the statement of planning objectives that will establish both the desired direction for change in the watershed and measurable criteria of that change. This element of the Corps' planning procedures recognizes that clear statement of objectives is essential to the formulation of alternative solutions. The Corps does not explicitly state procedures for identifying appropriate
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--> watershed scale. Instead it uses general planning procedures, which can be applied to watersheds. The second element in the Corps' planning process is the formulation of alternatives, which seeks to consider all measures available for addressing the planning objectives. The formulation of alternatives is followed closely by another element of the planning process, the measurement of the effects of alternatives on the planning objectives. Measurement of these outputs provides data for the final element in the USACE planning process, formal valuation of the alternatives. Like all federal agencies the USACE uses the Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies (U.S. Water Resources Council, 1983). This protocol is intended to summarize measured effects of the adoption of a given alternative in four accounts: 1) national economic development, 2) regional economic development, 3) environmental quality, 4) other social effects. The Principles and Guidelines protocol provides an interesting mechanism for systematically considering different values and identifying a shared understanding of their relative importance. The Corps' planning process does not, however, specify a process for balancing the trade-offs involved in implementing of a given alternative. Shabman (1996) explains the importance of the Corps' planning process in providing support to decisionsmakers: "In the future, . . . planning will be focused as much on building external agreements on the 'value' of the preferred alternative as on documenting value through computation called for by the agency budget authorities." Tennessee Valley Authority The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) launched its Clean Water Initiative (CWI) in 1992. The CWI is a programmatic alternative to regulatory and enforcement solutions to water quality problems (Poppe and Hurst, 1997). This alternative focuses on integrating local residents, businesses, and government agencies in watershed protection efforts. The key organizing feature of TVA's watershed planning approach is the River Action Team (RAT). This organizational feature won praise from Water Quality 2000's Model Watershed Committee. In evaluating TVA's CWI, the committee concluded, "The River Action Team concept should be expanded, promoted and replicated in other watersheds (Model Watershed Committee, 1994)." RATs are multidisciplinary teams made up of water resource experts like biologists and environmental engineers as well as community specialists and environmental educators. Team members ideally serve long-term assignments to specific watersheds to allow them to work closely with stakeholders building trust and to gain a deep knowledge of resource conditions in the watershed. The watershed is the RAT's fixed geographic area, and it may transcend various political boundaries. Watersheds are conceived of on a large scale (e.g., river basin) by TVA, so RATs have a high degree of flexibility
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--> in identifying the appropriate scale for dealing with particular problems. However, the variation of watershed scale to address specific problems in not dealt with explicitly by TVA's CWI guidelines. RATs are expected to be able to deal with problems as they evolve. To do so, RATs muster resources (funds, staff, and expertise) and stakeholder support. TVA strongly emphasizes the latter point, stating a strong commitment to include all stakeholders—critics as well as supporters—in the watershed planning process. At the same time, TVA stresses development of partnerships to solve watershed problems. These partnerships are important tools in the leveraging of resources. Problems are identified with help from continuous resource assessment based on TVA's ecological monitoring program. These assessment data are analyzed and used to identify specific problems and measurable objectives and to prioritize problems for treatment. These data and analyses drive TVA's use of a project selection matrix to prioritize projects. In making such analyses, TVA takes into account trade-offs made in selecting some projects over others. While the same principles could be applied to the selection of alternative solutions to a particular problem, TVA does not discuss this type of analysis. An implicit assumption is that there will be an unambiguously best solution to any problem. However, TVA does recognize that not all stakeholders will be equally informed about watersheds, and that lack of awareness and understanding of the functioning and value of aquatic ecosystems is an important source of environmentally harmful behaviors and lack of support for watershed management. CWI strives to involve stakeholders in watershed projects as a means of increasing knowledge, changing behavior, and revealing shared values regarding the environment and the need for watershed management. However, as noted earlier, even widely held values are unlikely to be held by everyone in a community or watershed. And while many interests may be served by a given plan to solve a watershed problem, other interests may suffer. Like the other agencies reviewed here, TWA has not specified mechanisms by which those adversely affected by watershed plans will be compensated (Ungate, 1996; Poppe and Hurst, 1997). In concentrating this review of watershed planning guidelines on major governmental institutions, we have not addressed the most profound development in the past decade, the growing number of local, often voluntary watershed organizations. One study identified 76 ongoing watershed efforts in just 11 of the western states, these efforts all had significant local citizen involvement (Natural Resources Law Center, 1996). Such organizations are found nationwide, and their numbers have increased substantially in the past decade. This trend closely parallels the growth of grassroots environmental organizations since the early 1980s (Freudenburg and Steinsapir, 1992). While much of the grassroots movement has been concerned with environmental contamination, local watershed initiatives are focused on "resource management problems related to the allocation, use, or quality of water" (Natural Resources Law Center, 1996).
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--> Because of a lack of comprehensive data on local watershed initiatives, this report cannot evaluate their planning procedures. Depending on the type of local watershed group and its mission, planning activities may be more or less formal. In any case, the critical points regarding the watershed planning procedures of the more formal agency efforts described above can serve as useful guidelines to more informally operating groups. And formal planning procedures are of direct relevance to watershed initiatives led by government agencies or working closely with them. Increasingly, local watershed initiatives involve multiagency collaboration. Kenney and Rieke (1997) conducted case studies of a dozen local watershed initiatives in the western United States and found that most had active involvement from some federal government agency. Most of the 76 local watershed initiatives in the West mentioned above also had significant federal involvement (Kenney and Rieke, 1997). Given the importance of federal involvement in watershed management, it is useful to review critical points in planning addressed by the agencies reviewed above. Table 8.3 shows how these agencies addressed (or failed to address) critical points of watershed planning. All the agencies' planning procedures gave substantial attention to identification of the problem and objectives for its resolution. Tying the problem to the appropriate watershed scale was a weak point for all the planning procedures. This weakness may be overstated, however, because the agencies follow planning guidelines issued for general purposes and not specifically for the treatment of watersheds. Nevertheless, watershed scale is not typically treated as a variable component in the planning process. The importance of involving stakeholders in environmental planning has received increasing attention, especially given the growth of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Backyard) opposition to the siting of environmental hazards and property rights protests against environmental regulation. Our review shows that agencies generally are aware of the importance of stakeholder involvement, and that planning procedures increasingly include explicit mechanisms for it. Some planning procedures include very strong mechanisms for identifying trade-offs associated with solutions to watershed problems. Most of these rely heavily on scientific analysis. In marked contrast, some protocols fail to address the distribution of costs and benefits associated with alternative solutions—a failure that stems from the assumption that widely accepted solutions are the norm. This shortcoming may lead to an inability to recognize sources of conflict embedded in any particular alternative. Recognizing that some stakeholders may disproportionately bear the costs of watershed management practices and developing mechanisms to address such inequalities can help avert or resolve such conflicts. It is extremely difficult, however, to account for costs and benefits associated with watershed management, because many "goods" are incommensurable (Anderson, 1993). To reach agreement on who bears the greatest burden and who reaps the most benefits, there must be some agreement on the applicable accounting unit. Most commonly this accounting is done in monetary terms, but such
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--> TABLE 8.3 Critical Points in Watershed Planning As Addressed by Selected Agency Planning Protocols Clearly Specified Processes for Identifying the: EPAa FSb BORc NRCSd USACEe TVAf (1) Watershed problem and objectives for its resolution YES YES YES YES YES YES (2) Appropriate stakeholders NO NO NO NO NO NO (3) Involvement of relevant stakeholders YES YES YES YES YES YES (4) Considerations trade-offs among alternative solutions NO YES YES YES YES NO (5) Shared values to guide selection of alternatives NO NO YES YES YES YES (6) Best actions to balance costs and benefits among trade-offs NO NO NO NO NO NO a EPA: Environmental Protection Agency b FS: Forest Service c BOR: Bureau of Reclamation d NRCS: National Resources Conservation Service e USACE: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers f TVA: Tennessee Valley Authority accounting is not preferred or accepted under all circumstances. While the agency planning procedures review did provide some mechanisms for identifying of shared values that might help select solutions, these mechanisms were weak and may not provide adequate guidance for determining the relative importance of different values in the decisionmaking process. Even if there is agreement on the relative importance of different values, and decisions are made based on such consensus, some stakeholders may still bear a disproportionate share of the costs. None of the planning procedures addressed how appropriate compensation could be considered and then carried out. Given growing concern with environmental equity and the development of compensation mechanisms, it is surprising that agency planning procedures give so little attention to this point.
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--> Conclusion This chapter began by posing a key question in watershed planning: what is an effective process in relating science, policy, and public participation? One key conclusion is that science play a prominent role in any watershed planning process. Planning on a watershed basis and demands robust, interdisciplinary scientific inputs that not only answer key questions, but offer insights into the limitations of our understanding of watershed processes. Acknowledgment that knowledge is incomplete establishes the need for continuing scientific inputs in an adaptive, or recursive, planning process. Sound science provides the basis for establishing realistic limits on what can be accomplished and identifies trade-offs associated with different alternatives. However, the choice of particular solutions to adopt is ultimately a political one. The role of science is to respond to the information needs of policymakers and the public, and to inform the formulation of watershed management policy. Thus, there are clear roles for scientists and policymakers. Watershed management plans that provide explicitly defined checks and balances between scientists and policymakers are likely to be the most robust over time. Science provides information, but it cannot determine which values should guide watershed management policies. These values must emerge from the watershed planning process through public participation. Contemporary watershed planning increasingly involves a broad array of stakeholders. However, meaningful stakeholder involvement is often difficult to achieve within existing institutions. Political representation often is organized in jurisdictions where the boundaries do not correspond to those of watersheds. Thus established mechanisms of political involvement may be ineffective in a watershed context, and planning must therefore be seen as part of a process that strives to create a watershed community. In the long run, effective watershed management will encourage changes in personal behaviors and land management practices that threaten the local resource base. Creating a sense of community in a watershed can be a difficult task, but there are some important approaches and considerations that can increase the likelihood of success. One approach is collaborative planning, which consists of bringing together all the interests in the watershed and working together to come up with the solutions. The basic idea is asking not how you should change to accommodate me, but how I should change to accommodate the others in the group so that we reach our goal. Effective collaborative planning acknowledges that solutions to watershed problems do not affect all interests equally; some benefit and others incur costs. Effective collaboration in watershed planning acknowledges these disparities in order to reach just and equitable outcomes. Collaborative planning works best when all those affected have a reasonable understanding of watershed problems, alternative solutions, and the trade-offs involved in choosing some solutions over others. Thus, education about watershed
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--> processes, legal and institutional constraints, and opportunities is an important element in collaborative planning. Education about the watershed should promote and support the integration of science, policy, and public participation. Sound, integrated policy can only be achieved when the education about the watershed assures that watershed management decisions are broadly understood and considered legitimate by the public. It is also necessary that all parties participate in making the choices between trade-offs, and that those trade-offs are fully understood and supported. Watershed planning may be organized in a variety of ways to address these issues. But whatever the organizational form chosen, the planning process should address six critical points: 1) the identification of the watershed problem and objectives for its resolution; 2) the appropriate watershed scale; 3) involvement of stakeholders; 4) trade-offs among alternative solutions; 5) values guiding the selection of alternative solutions; 6) best action to balance among trade-offs. As indicated above, current federal agency planning procedures are strong on many of these critical points. All have clear procedures for identifying problems and objectives for their solutions, most pay careful attention to stakeholder involvement, and most consider trade-offs involved in selecting between alternative problem solution. However, the agencies need to better match the watershed problem being solved to the appropriate watershed scale for intervention, and all agencies should give more attention to the identification of different values held by watershed stakeholders that can lead to conflicts over possible solutions. Many of the planning procedures seem to assume that general consensus about the preferred solution already exists or can be easily achieved. This assumption seems unrealistic. Failure to acknowledge fundamental differences in values can undermine the search for an acceptable means to address these differences. This point is closely related to another shortcoming in agency planning procedures: the identification of mechanisms to compensate those who bear a disproportionate share of the costs associated with the implementation of a watershed management plan. None of the agency planning procedures provided a means by which compensation could be considered and then carried out. By addressing these weaknesses, agencies could greatly strengthen their planning procedures and move watershed planning to a higher level of sophistication. References Anderson, E. 1993. Value in Ethics and Economics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Bella, D. A. 1997. Organizational systems and the burden of proof. Pp. 617-638 In Stouter, D. J., P. A. Bison, and R. J. Naiman, (eds.) Pacific Salmon and Their Ecosystems: Status and Future Options. New York: Chapman and Hall. Dietz, T., P. C. Stern, and R. W. Rycroft. 1989. Definitions of conflict and the legitimation of resources: The case of environmental risk. Sociological Forum 4(1):47-70. Doppelt, R., M. Scurlock, C. Frissell, and J. Karr. 1993. Entering the Watershed: A New Approach to Save America's River Ecosystems. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
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--> Freudenberg, N., and C. Steinsapir. 1992. Not in our backyards: The grassroots environmental movement. Pp. 27-38 in American Environmentalism. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis. Kenney, D., and B. Rieke. 1997. Resource Management at the Watershed Level: An Assessment of the Changing Federal Role in the Emerging Era of Community-Based Watershed Management. Boulder, Colo.: University of Colorado, Natural Resource Law Center. Keystone Center. 1996. The Keystone National Policy Dialogue on Ecosystem Management: Final Report. Keystone, Colorado: The Keystone Center. Lee, Kai N. 1993. Compass and Gyroscope: Integrating Science and Politics for the Environment. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. March, J. G. and H. A. Simon. 1958. Organizations. New York: Wiley. Model Watershed Committee. 1994. Evaluation of a Watershed Approach to Clean Water: A Site Visit to the Tennessee Valley Authority and Evaluation of Their Clean Water Initiative. Alexandria, Va.: Water Quality 2000. Moreau, D. H. 1994. Watershed Planning—What's New? What's Old? The Wayne S. Nichols Memorial Lecture. Ohio State University, November 17. Naiman, R. J., J. J. Magnuson, D. M. McKnight, J. A. Stanford, and J. R. Karr. 1995. Freshwater ecosystems and their management: A national initiative. Science 270:584-585. Napier, T. L., S. M. Napier, and J. Turdon. 1998. Soil and Water Conservation Policies and Programs: Successes and Failures. Ankeny, Iowa: Soil and Water Conservation Society Press. National Research Council. 1992. Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems: Science, Technology, and Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. National Research Council. 1995. Criteria for Watershed Sustainability. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Natural Resources Law Center. 1996. The Watershed Source Book: Watershed Based Solutions to Natural Resource Problems. Boulder, Colo.: University of Colorado, Natural Resources Law Center. Pfeffer, J. J., and M. B. Lapping. 1994. Farmland preservation, development, rights and the theory of the growth machine: The views of planners. J. Rural Studies 10(3):233-248. Popovic, N. A. F. 1993. The right to participate in decisions that affect the environment. Pace Environmental Law Review 19(2):683-709. Poppe W., and R. Hurst. 1997. TVA's clean water initiative: A partnership approach to watershed improvement. WQI March/April 1997:39-43. Priscoli, J. D. 1978. Implementing Public Involvement Programs in Federal Agencies. Pp. 97-108 in Langton, S. (ed.) Citizen Participation in America: Essays on the State of the Art. Lexington, Ky.: Lexington Books. Rosenbaum, W. A. 1978. Public Involvement as Reform and Ritual: The Development of Federal Participation Programs. Pp. 81-96 in Langton, S. (ed.) Citizen Participation in America: Essays on the State of the Art. Lexington: Lexington Books. Shabman, L. 1996. Environmental Restoration in the Army Corps of Engineers: Planning and Valuation Changes. Manuscript. Simon, H. A. 1954. Administrative Behavior. New York: MacMillan. Stanford, J. A., and G. C. Poole. 1996. A protocol for ecosystem management. Perspectives in Ecosystem Management 6(3):741-744. Stern, P., and H. V. Fineberg, eds. 1996. Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Ungate, C. D. 1996. Tennessee Value Authority's Clean Water Initiative: Building Partnerships for Watershed Improvement. Journal of Planning and Management 39(1):113-122. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1993. the Power of Collaborative Planning: Report of the National Workshop. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1997. Overview of Forest Planning and Project Level Decisionmaking. Internet: http://www.fs.fed.us/forum/nepa/decisionm/index.html.
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--> U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1993. The Watershed Approach. Annual Report 1992. EPA840-S-93-001. Washington, D.C.: U.S. EPA. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1996. Draft Framework for Watershed-Based Trading. EPA 800-R-96-001. Office of Water. Washington, D.C.: U.S. EPA. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1997. The Watershed Approach. Internet: http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/watershed/wa1.html. U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1996. National Planning Procedures Handbook. NRCS 180-vi-NPPH, Revision 1. Washington, D.C.: USDA. U.S. Water Resources Council. 1983. Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Weatherford, G. D. N.D. From Basin to Hydrocommons: Integrated Water Management Without Regional Governance. Western Water Policy Project, Discussion Series Paper, No. 5. Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado, School of Law. Yaffee, S. L., A. F. Phillips, I. C. Frentz, P. W. Hardy, S. M. Maleki, and B. E. Thorpe. 1996. Ecosystem Management in the United States: An Assessment of Current Experience. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
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--> There is a need to stabilize, enhance, and restore to some degree the nation's aquatic and riparian ecosystems, and particularly to restore more natural discharge regimes and ensure habitats for native species. One step toward these goals is to reduce pollution and protect riparian zones with ecologically sound management practices such as these contour buffer strips in Iowa. Credit: USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Representative terms from entire chapter: