The community watershed planning approach to local environmental land use management: Its history and emerging approaches

Kenneth L. Weaver, Mark E. Burbach, Zhenghong Tang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Communities throughout America, in effort to restore watersheds from the adverse effects of pollution and other sources of degradation, have created community watershed councils in order to apply collaborative and adaptive management approaches to watershed management. There has been theoretical-based research in more integrative systems thinking and complexity-based ecosystems views of managing ecosystems including watersheds. The application of integrative systems thinking and complexitybased ecosystems views in the management of watersheds has practical implications for the strategies employed to manage watersheds that are under possible stress due to degradation from pollution or past mismanagement and the possible effects related to climate change. A more expanded view of ecosystems by policy makers may improve the future conditions of watersheds. The authors review the history and literature related to watershed planning and management to discover the evolving nature of watershed management approaches and strategies. The collaborative, and adaptive management approaches are examined as well as the newer paradigmatic views of: systems and complexity theory, and an ecosystems view that includes the concepts of humans coinhabiting the ecosystem and co-evolving with it. This paradigmatic view also includes the concept of humans taking responsibility for making insightful initiatives to provide ecosystem resilience. Little or no research exists on the use of the ecosystem oriented view by community watershed councils. The need for additional research is recognized. Such research would inform communities in their efforts to lead their communities and to make wise decisions in providing resilience to the ecosystems in which they live.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLand Use
Subtitle of host publicationPlanning, Regulations, and Environment
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781622573578
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Community
  • Ecosystem
  • History
  • Land use
  • Local
  • Planning
  • Review
  • Watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The community watershed planning approach to local environmental land use management: Its history and emerging approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this