Evaluation of the intergovernmental relationships between national and state wetland regulatory agencies within wetland regulatory units Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0c483m97m

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  • Since the 1890s, American federalism has been perceived as being unique in the world by having two different levels of government operating within the same jurisdiction without influencing one another. Modern scholars call into question the validity of this basic assumption, but few have published quantitative evidence to reject its application. Furthermore, even some of these theorists continue to suggest that national government programs established under the interstate commerce clause may resist influence from state counterparts. This study tests this suggestion by examining how selected outcomes of the national wetland regulatory program may be influenced by similar statute-based state programs. In the process, three other voids in the wetland management literature are filled. First, wetland regulatory units are described for the first time as consequential components of the regulatory landscape. Second, relationships between the outcomes of the national wetland regulatory program and local socioeconomic and landscape conditions such as population size and growth rates, income, wetland abundance, and program funding levels are quantified. Finally, a model describing the amount of wetland fill permitted and the number of permits issued by the national government is constructed from these relationships. The accomplishment of these tasks produces new evaluative tools that may be used by state and national government wetland managers to more efficiently and effectively implement their programs. The results reveal that some, but not all measures of the national wetland regulatory program's outcomes are influenced by state programs. There is no evidence that the amount of wetland fill permitted by the national government differs measurably in accordance with the presence of any type of active state wetland regulatory program. There is, however, strong evidence that the number of permits issued is directly related to the presence of statute-based state programs. Furthermore, these programs exhibit the same relationship to the national program as do state programs that are empowered solely through federal authorizations. Therefore, when it comes to wetland regulation, the traditional assumption of American federalism is inadequate. The United States does have two different levels of government operating within the same jurisdictions, however, their programs exhibit measurable influence upon one another.
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