Enabling regional collaborative governance for sustainable recreation on public lands: the Verde Front

Anna Bettis, Michael Schoon, Gabrielle Blanchette

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Collaborative governance approaches have been shown to build trust, reduce conflicts and be more responsive than traditional land management strategies because they incorporate diverse perspectives in the decision-making process. Traditional top-down land management often proves inadequate to address landscape-scale problems that cross jurisdictional borders and to produce sustainable outcomes for affected stakeholders. Collaborative governance is an alternative approach, which engages stakeholders–both civil society and public agencies–in a consensus-driven shared decision-making process. A neutral facilitator who clearly communicates the rules of engagement, participatory inclusiveness as well as opportunities to regularly interact face-to-face and generate small wins are among the key factors that have enabled success in previously studied small-scale collaborative governance arrangements. In this study, a collaborative governance effort within the Southwest United States provides insights into how collaborative outcomes can be achieved on public lands at a regional scale and the differences that makes as compared to past studies at smaller scales. This study used a participatory research approach to produce use-oriented research outcomes in tandem with transdisciplinary practitioners on the ground. Our examination provides a deeper understanding of the factors that enable successful collaborative outcomes to be achieved at a regional scale using a community-driven, transparent process.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-23
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
    StatePublished - 2020


    • participatory research
    • regional collaborative governance
    • sustainable recreation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Water Science and Technology
    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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