Over the past century, solutions to natural resources policy issues have become increasingly complex. Multiple government agencies with overlapping jurisdictions and differing mandates as well as multiple interest groups have contributed to gridlock, frequently preventing solutions in the common interest. Community-based responses to natural resource problems in the American West have demonstrated the potential of local initiatives both for finding common ground on divisive issues and for advancing the common interest.The first chapter of this enlightening book diagnoses contemporary problems of governance in natural resources policy and in the United States generally, then introduces community-based initiatives as responses to those problems. The next chapters examine the range of successes and failures of initiatives in water management in the Upper Clark Fork River in Montana; wolf recovery in the northern Rockies; bison management in greater Yellowstone; and forest policy in northern California. The concluding chapter considers how to harvest experience from these and other cases, offering practical suggestions for diverse participants in community-based initiatives and their supporters, agencies and interest groups, and researchers and educators.

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