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Remaking a people, restoring a watershed: Klamath tribal empowerment through natural resource activism, 1960-2014

Description

Natural resources management is a pressing issue for Native American nations and communities. More than ever before, tribal officials sit at the decision-making tables with federal and state officials

Natural resources management is a pressing issue for Native American nations and communities. More than ever before, tribal officials sit at the decision-making tables with federal and state officials as well as non-governmental natural resource stakeholders. This, however, has not always been the case. This dissertation focuses on tribal activism to demonstrate how and why tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights protection are tied closely to contemporary environmental issues and natural resources management. With the Klamath Tribes of southern Oregon as a case study, this dissertation analyzes how a tribal nation garnered a political position in which it could both indirectly influence and directly orchestrate natural resource management within and outside of its sovereign boundaries. The Klamath Tribes experienced the devastating termination policy in the 1950s. Termination stripped them of their federal status as an Indian tribe, the government services offered to recognized tribes, and their 1.2-million-acre reservation. Despite this horrific event, the Klamaths emerged by the 2000s as leading natural resource stakeholders in the Klamath River Watershed, a region ten times larger than their former reservation. The Klamaths used tools, such as their treaty and water rights, and employed careful political, legal, and social tactics. For example, they litigated, appropriated science, participated in democratic national environmental policy processes, and developed a lexicon. They also negotiated and established alliances with non-governmental stakeholders in order to refocus watershed management toward a holistic approach that promoted ecological restoration.

This study applies spatial theory and an ethnohistorical approach to show how traditional values drove the Klamaths’ contemporary activism. From their perspective, healing the land would heal the people. The Klamaths’ history illuminates the active roles that tribes have had in the institutionalization of the federal self-determination policy as federal agencies resisted recognizing tribes and working with them in government-to-government relationships. Through their efforts to weave their interests into natural resource management with state, federal, and non-governmental stakeholders, the Klamaths took part in a much larger historical trend, the increased pluralization of American society.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Identifying the role of policy networks in the implementation of habitat conservation plans

Description

Conflict over management of natural resources may intensify as population growth, development, and climate change stress natural systems. In this dissertation, the role of policy networks implementing Habitat Conservation

Conflict over management of natural resources may intensify as population growth, development, and climate change stress natural systems. In this dissertation, the role of policy networks implementing Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) is examined. As explored here, policy networks are groups that come together to develop and implement terms of HCPs. HCPs are necessary for private landowners to receive Incidental Take Permits (ITPs) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) if approved development activities may result in take of threatened or endangered species. ITPs may last up to 100 years or more and be issued to individual or multiple landowners to accomplish development and habitat conservation goals within a region.

Theoretical factors in the implementation and policy network literatures relevant to successful implementation of environmental agreements are reviewed and used to examine HCP implementation. Phase I uses the USFWS Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) database to identify characteristics of policy networks formed to implement HCPs within the State of California, and how those networks changed since the creation of HCPs in 1982 by amendment of the 1973 Endangered Species Act. Phase II presents a single, complex, multiple-party HCP case selected from Phase I to examine the policy network formed, the role of actors in this network, and network successes and implementation barriers.

This research builds upon the implementation literature by demonstrating that implementation occurs in stages, not all of which are sequential, and that how implementation processes are structured and executed has a direct impact on perceptions of success.

It builds upon the policy network literature by demonstrating ways that participation by non-agency actors can enhance implementation; complex problems may better achieve conflicting goals by creating organizational structures made up of local, state, federal and non-governmental entities to better manage changing political, financial, and social conditions; if participants believe the transaction costs of maintaining a network outweigh the benefits, ongoing support may decline; what one perceives as success largely depends upon their role (or lack of a role) within the policy network; and conflict management processes perceived as fair and equitable significantly contribute to perceptions of policy effectiveness.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015