Characterizing community impacts of small dam removal : a case study of the Brownsville Dam Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kh04dr78p

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  • Emerging river policy has launched small dam removal as a viable option to meet the ecological and social demands for river restoration. As small dam removals gain precedence as a policy tool in river restoration projects there exists a glaring gap in the social considerations, in particular how small dam removals may affect existing community conditions. In order to determine the community impacts that may result, a case study of the Brownsville Dam Removal, in Brownsville Oregon was investigated to address two questions: 1) how has the Brownsville Dam removal affected the social and economic conditions of the community and 2) what indicators can be used to characterize and monitor the impacts. Twenty-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with four community affiliations: 1) Canal Company members; 2) Calapooia Watershed Council members; 3) City Officials; and 4) community residents. A participatory social impact assessment (SIA) approach was used to validate existing and/or emergent impacts and indicators. The semi-structured interviews assisted in the development of a matrix of impacts and indicators specific to small dam removal. The local impacts and indicators were operationalized and measured. Findings suggest that the social and economic impacts when distributed across the community are minimal in this case of small dam removal. Because local data availability is limited, it was determined that the traditional social impact assessment framework can be vastly improved through the engagement of the community. This research further suggests that when collaboration is extended beyond a unidirectional flow of information (which is often the case in a traditional SIA), issues and concerns are open to deliberation in a non-threatening arena. The Calapooia Watershed Council served as the forum through which the residents of Brownsville were able to enhance their participation in decision making. This also contributed to a learning process that in the end furthered the community's understanding of the dynamic physical changes to the Calapooia River as well as their capacity to solve complex decisions. The case also demonstrated that collective learning is a reflective process of adjustment to the changing circumstances in which the community came to perceive, interpret, and act upon their interest. With a growing number of collaborative partnerships of watershed based management, distinguishable by their decentralized, participatory engagement of stakeholders, it may be likely that these place-based mechanisms will become the nexus to the successful coordination of small dam removal deliberation in the future.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-07-07T20:50:41Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Characterizing Community Impacts of Small Dam Removal_A Case Study of the Brownsville Dam.pdf: 1991923 bytes, checksum: fcecf780a7cdfd3dcbe57cdaaece4b31 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-06-30T17:24:16Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Characterizing Community Impacts of Small Dam Removal_A Case Study of the Brownsville Dam.pdf: 1991923 bytes, checksum: fcecf780a7cdfd3dcbe57cdaaece4b31 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2009-07-07T20:50:42Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Characterizing Community Impacts of Small Dam Removal_A Case Study of the Brownsville Dam.pdf: 1991923 bytes, checksum: fcecf780a7cdfd3dcbe57cdaaece4b31 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Denise Elston (elstond@onid.orst.edu) on 2009-06-26T19:40:36Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Characterizing Community Impacts of Small Dam Removal_A Case Study of the Brownsville Dam.pdf: 1991923 bytes, checksum: fcecf780a7cdfd3dcbe57cdaaece4b31 (MD5)

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