Varied interest groups joined together as the Applegate Partnership to attempt a collaborative process of forming an ecologically-based forest management plan for the Applegate Watershed, and ecologically unique area. A history of this area shows how the land was used for mining, then the subsistence ranching, federally-owned and managed areas, and most recently people settling in the area during the back-to-the-land movement of 20 to 30 years ago. Out of these constituencies has come the Partnership. The three major task areas for such a community-based plan to develop are ecosystem assessment; community assessment, inventory, involvement, and monitoring; and, locally-based implementation. Comprehensive ecosystem-management planning requires the consideration of both ecological and social/economic issues and consequently, assessments of both are essential. Based on the Partnership experience, five elements emerge as important considerations: (1) mixed interests necessitate building partnerships among stakeholder groups; (2) there is a substantial commitment needed to build and maintain broad-based community support; (3) comprehensive ecological and community inventories, involving scientists and community development practitioners, are essential to develop a full view of the dynamics of forests and communities under consideration; (4) mechanisms for implementation of activities need to direct work to local workers, to maintain quality and consistency of work, and to ensure that economic and social benefits are retained in the community; and, (5) long-term success depends on a broad base of support, otherwise political entropy will favor external, centralized control of local resources.
"Community-based approach to forest management in the Pacific Northwest: A profile of the Applegate Partnership,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 5
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol5/iss1/7