Can watershed management unite town and country?

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35 Scopus citations


Resource agencies in the United States have taken up collaborative watershed management planning as a general policy tool. In doing so, they have adapted methods originally developed by voluntary partnerships in small rural watersheds and applied them across larger drainage areas with more diverse patterns of land use. Using Henri Lefebvre's concepts of social space, this article reviews research to identify the varied political, social, and physical characteristics that watershed organizers confront in urbanized and rural areas. Planners working in watersheds with diverse settlement patterns may find it difficult to meet the guiding principles suggested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and National Research Council: organizing watershed partnerships to involve those most affected by management decisions, making decisions within a specific geographic area, and using science and data to guide decisions over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Collaboration
  • Land use planning
  • Spatial scale
  • Watersheds


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