Implementation of regional plans in the Pacific Northwest : an analysis of the Northwest Power Planning Council's water budget and model conservation standards 1984-1993 Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8049g744v

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  • An innovative regional planning institution, the Northwest Power Planning Council, was created to plan for two conflicting water-related resources, fish and wildlife and electrical power. The Council is responsible for regional planning but implementation of those plans is largely the responsibility of four federal agencies and four state governments. As with any planning institution, one of the Council's greatest challenges is securing implementation of its plans. This research addresses the Council's success by examining factors affecting implementation of two representative measures, the "water budget" within the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program and the residential "model conservation standards" within the Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan. The objectives of this research were to identify the degree to which the two key measures developed and adopted by the Council were implemented, to analyze the factors affecting implementation, and to recommend strategies to facilitate better linkage between the planning and implementation process. A policy analysis model was used to determine the factors impacting implementation from 1984 through 1993. The results suggest that while the Council was at least moderately successful, a number of factors impeded effective implementation of both measures over the course of the ten-year analysis period. The Council was somewhat less successful in addressing implementation problems surrounding the water budget than it was for the residential model conservation standards. Critical factors which impeded implementation of the water budget included its vague objectives, uncertainties surrounding the measure's ability to achieve the Program's goals, the Council's lack of enforcement authority, and implementors who were largely unsympathetic to the salmon recovery effort. Factors negatively affecting regional adoption of the model conservation standards included regional implementors' resistance and the large degree of change required of them, state and local government's ability to block adoption, plus initial hostile reactions from the building industry. This research concludes that the Council provided an innovative model for regional planning. The strengths of the Council included its relatively clear enabling legislation, its inclusive planning process and its substantial political and financial resources. The Council's model also gave the four northwest states greater control over policy-making for two important regional resources.
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