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Implementing Innovation

Fostering Enduring Change in Environmental and Natural Resource Governance

Toddi A. Steelman

Publication Year: 2010

Over the past three decades, governments at the local, state, and federal levels have undertaken a wide range of bold innovations, often in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and communities, to try to address their environmental and natural resource management tasks. Many of these efforts have failed. Innovations, by definition, are transitory. How, then, can we establish new practices that endure? Toddi A. Steelman argues that the key to successful and long-lasting innovation must be a realistic understanding of the challenges that face it. She examines three case studiesùland management in Colorado, watershed management in West Virginia, and timber management in New Mexicoùand reveals specific patterns of implementation success and failure. Steelman challenges conventional wisdom about the role of individual entrepreneurs in innovative practice. She highlights the institutional obstacles that impede innovation and its longer term implementation, while offering practical insight in how enduring change might be achieved.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Series: Public Management and Change series


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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

FOR THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS I have been studying various innovations in environmental and natural resource governance. During this time I had been collecting my thoughts in what could be considered a manuscript in description but not in substance. Languishing on a shelf in my office, the manuscript taunted me for a greater investment of time, which was impossible to find given my overall workload....

List of Abbreviations

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p. xiii

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CHAPTER 1 Innovation, Implementation, and Institutions

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pp. 1-28

A DEFINING TREND IN THE 1980s AND 1990s was the proliferation of seemingly innovative solutions to difficult environmental and natural resource problems. Innovation emerged in response to the inadequacy of traditional regulatory approaches to address a new generation of problems that to varying degrees involved complex and dynamic systems, great uncertainty, tangled political and jurisdictional boundaries, ...

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CHAPTER 2 The Evolution of Environmental and Natural Resource Governance: Land, Water, and Forests

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pp. 29-69

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT RESEARCH, POLICY STUDIES, and institutional theory all recognize the importance of hierarchy within governance and how one level can influence the operation at another level. Policy studies literature, such as the advocacy coalition framework and punctuated equilibrium theory, suggests that there may be, but not always, influences from international, national, state, and/or local arenas on a policy ...

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CHAPTER 3 Aligning Institutional Characteristics: Implementing Innovation in Land Protection

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pp. 70-100

THE INNOVATION OF GREAT OUTDOORS COLORADO (GOCO) is nestled into the influence of land use governance as detailed in chapter 2 and as depicted in figure 3.1. GOCO represents a statewide innovation that works at the collective and constitutive decision-making level. As an initiative, it leverages the power of constitutive change while specifying the collective decision-making rule. GOCO works with state and regional ...

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CHAPTER 4 Intermittent Alignment of Institutional Characteristics: Implementing Innovation in Watershed Management

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pp. 101-137

FRIENDS OF THE CHEAT IS NESTED within various hierarchical influences as documented in chapter 2 and detailed in figure 4.1. Friends of the Cheat uses voluntary and selfregulatory approaches to mitigate acid mine drainage (AMD) and non–point-source pollution from numerous polluters throughout its watershed. The group works collaboratively to pull together the many actors from the federal, state, and local level that are essential for making progress in addressing water quality problems in its watershed.

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CHAPTER 5 Misalignment of Institutional Characteristics: Implementing Innovation in Forest Management

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pp. 138-170

THE USFS HAS BEEN THE PRIMARY ACTOR within the forest governance system, as detailed in chapter 2 and depicted in figure 5.1. Even though the agency was decentralized, it consolidated decision-making authority at the federal level. This centralized base of power was challenged in the 1960s and throughout the 1970s as new constitutive-level laws gave participants outside the agency power to participate in decision making. ...

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CHAPTER 6 Fostering Enduring Change

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pp. 171-199

THIS BOOK BEGAN WITH A SIMPLE QUESTION: Why are some innovations implemented, while others are not? The conventional framing of innovation places great weight on the role of the individual. Based on the evidence presented in this book, this emphasis is misplaced. Individuals are clearly important in the innovation process, but there also are limits on what individuals can do within the broader structural and cultural institu-...


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pp. 201-216

E-ISBN-13: 9781589016705
E-ISBN-10: 158901670X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589016279
Print-ISBN-10: 1589016270

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Public Management and Change series
Series Editor Byline: Beryl A. Radin, Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 650310488
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Implementing Innovation

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • Environmental policy -- United States.
  • Conservation of natural resources -- Government policy -- United States.
  • Forest policy -- United States.
  • Soil management -- Government policy -- United States.
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