"Finding Common Ground" by Ronald D.              Brunner

Finding Common Ground Governance and Natural Resources in the American West Ronald D. Brunner, Christine H. Colburn, Christina M. Cromley, Roberta A. Klein

Publication date:
11 Aug 2002
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156mm

Over the past century, solutions to natural resources policy issues have become increasingly complex. Multiple government agencies with overlapping jurisdictions and differing mandates as well as multiple interest groups have contributed to gridlock, frequently preventing solutions in the common interest. Community-based responses to natural resource problems in the American West have demonstrated the potential of local initiatives both for finding common ground on divisive issues and for advancing the common interest.

The first chapter of this enlightening book diagnoses contemporary problems of governance in natural resources policy and in the United States generally, then introduces community-based initiatives as responses to those problems. The next chapters examine the range of successes and failures of initiatives in water management in the Upper Clark Fork River in Montana; wolf recovery in the northern Rockies; bison management in greater Yellowstone; and forest policy in northern California. The concluding chapter considers how to harvest experience from these and other cases, offering practical suggestions for diverse participants in community-based initiatives and their supporters, agencies and interest groups, and researchers and educators.

Ronald D. Brunner is professor of political science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Christine H. Colburn is an analyst for the United States General Accounting Office in Denver. Christina M. Cromley is director of forest policy for American Forests in Washington, D.C. Roberta A. Klein is the managing director for the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder. Elizabeth A. Olson is a doctoral candidate in the department of geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

?Finding Common Ground is at once deeply balanced, eminently practical, and a brilliant state of the art work. For those with an interest in democracy, it is a profound and provocative original contribution to the central and perennial question of how best to organize a polity or community in ways that are more likely to achieve and sustain democratic practices. In all its facets, Finding Common Ground is a gem and, quite possibly, a tonic for our times.??Andrew R. Willard, Yale Law School and coeditor, Foundations of Natural Resource Policy and Management

"Brunner, et al. highlight the important role that community-based collaboration can play in helping to resolve the natural resource management conflicts which plague federal land management agencies. Through analysis of several well-known Western case studies, the authors illustrate some of the important conditions that are common to successful collaborations. Their work is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the new forms of governance emerging in the American West."?James R. Lyons, Professor Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and former USDA Under Secretary

?A penetrating assessment of the emergence and value of community-based initiatives to address controversial natural resource policy issues, this book is both timely and important.??Robert B. Keiter, University of Utah

"Finding Common Ground is an excellent assessment of community-based initiatives (or collaborative planning) through the prism of governance. . . . The book (appropriate for all audiences) offers lessons that will serve policy makers and community policy participants very well."?Choice

?[A] well-balanced and thorough discussion of the democratic foundations of community-based initiatives.??Hanna J. Cortner, Policy Sciences

?Brunner seeks to understand the rich web of contact between people and bears. He shows us the great diversity of ways people have viewed bears, exploited bears, and affected the evolution of bears.??John Marzluff, author of In the Company of Crows and Ravens

?No other book on bears achieves the broad historical perspective of this one.??Mark Boyce, University of Alberta

Winner of the 2002 Harold D. Lasswell Prize sponsored by the Society for the Policy Sciences

"A nimble, fast-moving survey of the silvery moon's impact upon us and our world."—Nick Owchar, San Jose Mercury News