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Participation by Local Governmental Officials in Watershed Management Planning

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This article reports on a study that explores what factors influence the decisions of New England local governmental officials (LGOs) to participate (or not) in regional collaborative environmental policymaking on watershed management planning. Q methodology was used to find coherent narratives that captured basic perspectives LGOs took toward the opportunity to participate in a watershed management planning process. Five perspectives emerged from the factor analysis. One centers on strategic calculations of influencing outcomes. A second weighs interest and available time. A third looks at how the community would benefit. A fourth is rooted in one's personal environmental ethics. And a fifth attempts to match skills and experiences with the needs of the policy endeavor. In conclusion, we found that LGOs make their decision to participate or not based on three general considerations: They feel they can help make a positive difference; they see working on the problem as consistent with their environmental ethic; and it is in their community's interest that they participate in the process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Social and Environmental Research Institute, Leverett, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 01 February 2003

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