Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning


Not specified


Planning methods that involve collaboration are gaining popularity and currently being applied in a variety of resource management issues . Based on current planning theory, researchers have proposed a conceptual collaborative model for environmental planning and management . This thesis evaluates the usefulness of the model to describe the range of factors important for the establishment and operation of collaboration in environmental planning. This iterative model suggests that collaboration emerges from a series of antecedents and then proceeds sequentially through problem setting, direction setting, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation phases. The evaluation was based on three case studies of watershed-based planning efforts in the lntermountain West. Watershed planning efforts were selected because watersheds have been identified as a suitable framework for addressing many environmental issues . In addition, watersheds frequently cross many political boundaries and therefore planning efforts in a watershed context often require collaboration between the various entities. Based on the case study analysis, the model seems to realistically describe fundamental collaborative elements in environmental planning . Factors that proved to be particularly important include the involvement of stakeholders in data collection and analysis and the establishment of measurable objectives . Informal face to face dialogue and watershed field tours were critical for identifying issues and establishing trust among stakeholders. Group organizational structure also plays a key role in facilitating collaboration . From this analysis, suggestions for refining the model are proposed. In addition , key elements that planners should consider when embarking on a collaborative effort are highlighted .