An assessment of community-based adaptive watershed management in three Umpqua Basin Watersheds Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kd17cw35v

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  • The dissertation introduces community-based adaptive watershed management (CAWM) as a holistic conservation framework. The CAWM framework integrates social and ecological suitability to achieve conservation outcomes. The core theoretical concepts consist of adaptive management, adoption-diffusion, symbolic interactionism, community-based conservation, spatial analysis and watershed management. The CAWM framework is applied to the Calapooya Creek, Deer Creek and Myrtle Creek watersheds within the Umpqua River Basin in Southwestern Oregon. The goal of the research is to facilitate effective watershed restoration outcomes grounded in a solid understanding of social and ecological dynamics. Applying the CAWM framework provides the basis to determine the kinds of conservation practices to implement, the locations in which to implement them and the kinds of programs to stimulate their adoption. Therefore, the dissertation objectives are to: 1) identify agricultural landowner participation in watershed conservation projects; 2) assess the spatial distribution of watershed projects; 3) determine the characteristics of participating and non-participating landowners; and 4) determine the sociocultural, ecological and geographic constraints to adaptive watershed management. Data were collected during 1997-1998 using agricultural landowner interviews, a mail landowner survey and observations of the Umpqua Basin Watershed Council. Landowners' worldviews consist of independence, the importance of private property rights, aversion toward government interference and a belief in environmental resilience. Landowners implement upland conservation practices such as off-stream livestock water developments and rotational grazing more often than riparian fencing, riparian tree planting and installing fish screens on instream irrigation diversions. The key factors in adoption of conservation practices include the use of irrigation, shared management decisions with a spouse, a belief in scientific experimentation and discussion of conservation with others. Spatial analysis using geographic information systems indicate that a suite of conservation practices is needed to achieve a network of large, connected patches throughout the watersheds.
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