Recent attention has focused on resource management initiatives at the watershed scale with emphasis on collaborative, locally driven, and decentralized institutional arrangements. Existing literature on limited selection of well-established watershed-based organizations has provided valuable insights. The current research extends this focus by including a broad survey of watershed organizations from across the United States as a means to estimate a national portrait. Organizational characteristics include year of formation, membership size and composition, budget, guiding principles, and mechanisms of decision-making. These characteristics and the issue concerns of organizations are expected to vary with respect to location. Because this research focuses on organizations that are place based and stakeholder driven, the forces driving them are expected to differ across regions of the country. On this basis of location, we suggest basic elements for a regional assessment of watershed organizations to channel future research and to better approximate the organizational dynamics, issue concerns, and information needs unique to organizations across the country. At the broadest level, the identification of regional patters or organizational similarities may facilitate the linkage among organizations to coordinate their actions at the much broader river basin or ecosystem scale.
Additional publication details
Watershed management and organizational dynamics: nationwide findings and regional variation