Citation
Collaboration and the Bureau of Land Management

Material Information

Title:
Collaboration and the Bureau of Land Management differential adoption of community-based approaches to public lands planning in the west
Creator:
Laninga, Tamara Jean
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v, 254 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Public lands -- Management -- West (U.S.) ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning -- West (U.S.) ( lcsh )
Community development -- West (U.S.) ( lcsh )
Community development ( fast )
Land use -- Planning ( fast )
Public lands -- Management ( fast )
United States, West ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 234-254).
General Note:
College of Architecture and Planning
Statement of Responsibility:
by Tamara Jean Laninga.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
66464139 ( OCLC )
ocm66464139
Classification:
LD1193.A735 2005d L36 ( lcc )

Full Text
n
COLLABORATION AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT:
DIFFERENTIAL ADOPTION OF COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACHES
TO PUBLIC LANDS PLANNING IN THE WEST
by
Tamara Jean Laninga
B.S., Western Washington University, 1994
M.A., University of Colorado, 2000
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Design and Planning
2005


2005 by Tamara J. Laninga
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Tamara J. Laninga
has been approved
by
Bill Travis
Richard Margerum
12


Laninga, Tamara J. (Ph.D., Design and Planning)
Collaboration and the Bureau of Land Management:
Differential Adoption of Community-based Approaches
to Public Lands Planning in the West
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Brian Muller
ABSTRACT
Community-based collaboration is the U.S. Bureau of Land Managements
(BLM) preferred approach to land use planning. While some BLM field offices
have successfully adopted collaborative planning, others have struggled with its
implementation or not yet tried collaborating at all. This dissertation examines
institutional, contingency, community capacity, leadership, and group relations
theories, and the New West thesis to consider factors that motivate and inhibit BLM
field offices from adopting a collaborative planning approach. A two-staged,
multiple method research strategy was designed to examine the differential adoption
of collaboration. Stage 1 consisted of a survey sent to BLM field staff in all 146
field offices to provide a comprehensive picture of where collaboration is being
used. Field offices responding to the survey (n=89) served as the sample frame
from which four case studies were drawn for Stage 2 of the study. In this stage,
BLM staff and stakeholders were interviewed in field offices selected for their
IV


adoption or non-adoption of collaboration and their location in the New or Old
West. The survey data supports the New West thesis, showing that adoption of
collaboration is more likely in field offices located in counties experiencing
population growth, with diversified economies and high levels of community
capacity (human capital). This finding, however, does not explain all the variation
in the use of collaboration, since some Old West field offices are adopting
collaboration and some New West field offices are not adopting this planning
process. The case study data clarifies this discrepancy and provide support for the
community capacity and leadership theories. The case studies showed that field
offices are likely to adopted collaboration, regardless of being in the New or Old
West, where there is a visionary leader working in communities with high
community capacity (social capital). The ability of BLM field offices to adopt
community-based collaboration seems especially hindered by overbearing
procedural and legal requirements, ineffective leadership, and low social capital.
This abstract accurately represents the cc
I recommend its publication.
v


To Patrick,
and the wild lands that refresh our souls.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I have come to realize that completing a dissertation is truly a collaborative
process that comes together through the generous contributions of many people. I
wish to thank my dissertation committee for their thoughtful and constructive
feedback during various stages of my research project. In particular, I am grateful
to Brian Muller, my chair, who spent many mornings talking with me over coffee at
Caffe Sole about my dissertation, from beginning to end. I am also thankful to Ray
Studer for the insightful and encouraging conversations we had at the Trident Cafe.
My other committee members, including Fahriye Sancar, Bill Travis, and Rich
Margerum also offered helpful advice at key points during the process, for which I
am very appreciative.
Beyond my committee, I am grateful to many people in the College of
Architecture and Planning. In particular, to Willem van Vliet, whose continuous
encouragement and support sustained me through this journey. Kim Kelly, the
Ph.D. Secretary, is a godsend. Always with a smile on her face, she was ready to
help in any way. She has made navigating through the Ph.D. process as easy as it
can be. I am also indebted to my friends in the program Yiping, Anirban, Li,
Jenny, Ann, Amanda, Susan, Vanessa, and Linda (when she was with us) who have
been so helpful in every way.


I would like to thank the Community Based Collaborative Research
Consortium at the University of Virginia who funded the first stage of my
dissertation. I am also thankful to the employees of the BLM and members of the
public who participated in my research project. Without their thoughts and insights,
this dissertation would not have been written. It is my sincere hope that through
community-based collaborative efforts the mission of the BLM to sustain the
health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of
present and future generations, will come to fruition. Finally, thanks to Tom
Dickinson, I have nice maps!
Outside the walls of academia, numerous friends and family members
supported me throughout this process. My first thanks go to the ladies: Chris,
Jake, Jen, and Becky, whose love and encouragement from near and far, was
invaluable. Secondly, my gratitude goes to Barb and Eric for their enduring
friendship and gracious hospitality especially during my month-long data
collection marathon in November 2004. I am also eternally grateful to my family,
whose belief in me and my abilities made this achievement possible. I am
especially thankful for my parents love and support. Finally, my utmost thanks and
appreciation go to Pat, whose love and constant encouragement convinced me that I
could complete this project. Thank you for showing me the way and reminding me
that there is an end and it is in sight!


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures.................................................... xiii
Tables...................................................... xiv
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF
PUBLIC LANDS PLANNING IN THE WEST.............................. 1
The Changing West.......................................... 1
Background on Collaborative Planning....................... 4
A Short History of the BLM................................. 7
Birth of the BLM..................................... 7
The Bureau of Livestock and Mining................... 8
The Best Land Manager................................ 10
The Bureau of Landscapes and Monuments............... 15
Summary and Dissertation Overview.......................... 22
2. LITERATURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK..................... 25
Introduction............................................... 25
Practical and Theoretical Underpinnings of Collaborative
Planning................................................... 25
Gaps in the Natural Resource Collaboration Literature...... 29
Conceptual Framework....................................... 33
Theoretical Review......................................... 37
Institutional Context................................ 37
Community Context.................................... 43
Field Office Context................................. 52
Research Hypotheses........................................ 57
Institutional Theory................................. 57
Contingency Theory................................... 57
Community Capacity Theory............................ 58
New West Thesis...................................... 58
IX


Behavioral Theories.................................. 59
Chapter Summary............................................ 59
3. RESEARCH METHODS............................................... 61
Introduction............................................... 61
Stage 1: Survey............................................ 63
Sample and Survey Instrument......................... 63
Quantitative Variables............................... 65
Stage 1 Data Analysis................................ 71
Stage 2: Case Studies...................................... 72
Case Study Selection................................. 73
Data Collection Procedures........................... 79
Qualitative Variables................................ 84
Stage 2 Data Analysis................................ 88
Study Limitations.......................................... 93
4. EXAMINING THE AFFECT OF COMMUNITY CONTEXT ON
FIELDOFFICE ADOPTION OF COLLABORATION.......................... 96
Introduction............................................... 96
Review of Research Hypotheses.............................. 97
Contingency Theory................................... 97
Community Capacity Theory............................ 98
New West Thesis...................................... 98
Descriptive Statistics..................................... 99
Dependent Variable................................... 99
Independent Variables................................. 101
Pearson Chi-Square Statistic Results........................ 106
Contingency Theory.................................... 106
Community Capacity Theory............................. 108
New West Thesis....................................... Ill
Discussion.................................................. 114
Conclusion.................................................. 118
5. COLLABORATION EMBRACED
GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, AND ELY, NEVADA....................... 120
Introduction.............................................. 120
Review of Relevant Research Hypotheses...................... 121
Institutional Theory.................................. 121
x


Community Capacity Theory............................... 122
Behavioral Theories..................................... 122
Case 1: Grand Junction Field Office............................ 124
Background Information.................................. 125
Legislative Mandate and Previous Collaborative Efforts 127
Field Office Leadership................................. 130
Local Government Relations.............................. 132
Community Relations..................................... 134
Recreation Management................................... 137
Summary for the Grand Junction Field Office............. 138
Case 2: Ely Field Office....................................... 140
Background Information.................................. 141
Current Collaboration in the Ely Field Office........... 143
Capacity for Collaboration.............................. 144
Field Office Leadership................................. 148
Initial Challenges to Collaboration..................... 150
Summary for the Ely Field Office........................ 152
Discussion..................................................... 152
Institutional Context................................... 153
Community Context....................................... 156
Field Office Context.................................... 160
Conclusion..................................................... 162
6. IMPEDIMENTS TO COLLABORATION
CARLSBAD, NEW MEXICO, AND LITTLE SNAKE, COLORADO ... 163
Introduction................................................... 163
Review of Relevant Research Hypotheses......................... 164
Case 1: Carlsbad Field Office.................................. 164
Background Information.................................. 166
Increased Demand for Domestic Oil....................... 167
Powerful Constituents and Low Public Interest........... 169
Community Relations..................................... 171
Field Office Leadership................................. 174
Summary for the Carlsbad Field Office................... 176
Case 2: Little Snake Field Office.............................. 177
Background Information.................................. 178
Community Relations..................................... 179
Political Connections................................... 181
Preservation vs. Development............................ 182
Field Office Context.................................... 186
xi


Summary for the Little Snake Field Office.......... 187
Discussion............................................... 188
Institutional Context.............................. 189
Community Context.................................. 192
Field Office Context............................... 195
Conclusion............................................... 198
7. CONCLUSION............................................ 199
Introduction............................................. 199
Research Contributions................................... 201
Contributions to the Study of the BLM.............. 201
Contributions to the Natural Resources Collaboration
Literature......................................... 202
Theoretical Contribution........................... 204
Summary of Findings................................ 211
Policy Recommendations................................... 211
Field Level........................................ 212
National Level..................................... 213
Future Research.......................................... 213
Conclusion............................................... 216
APPENDIX
A. ACRONYM LIST................................................ 218
B. STAGE 1 SURVEY.............................................. 219
C. LIST OF DOCUMENTS, NEWSPAPERS, AND WEBSITES................. 228
D. STAGE 2 INTERVIEW GUIDE..................................... 230
REFERENCES...................................................... 234


FIGURES
Figure
2.1 Conceptual Framework for Adoption of Collaboration................ 35
3.1 Research Design Diagram........................................... 62
4.1 Collaboration and Non-Collaboration in BLM Field Offices.......... 101
5.1 Colorado Field Offices, with Grand Junction Highlighted........... 125
5.2 Nevada Field Offices, with Ely Highlighted........................ 140
6.1 New Mexico Field Office, with Carlsbad Highlighted................ 165
6.2 Colorado Field Offices, with Little Snake Highlighted............ 177
xiii


TABLES
Table
3.1 Variables Testing Contingency Theory.............................. 67
3.2 Variables Testing Community Capacity............................. 69
3.3 Field Office Collaboration Scores................................ 78
3.4 Affiliation of Informants........................................ 81
3.5 Coding Themes.................................................... 90
4.1 BLM Field Offices Using Collaboration in 2002 ....................... 100
4.2 Variables Measuring Contingency Theory.............................. 102
4.3 Variables Measuring Community Capacity Theory....................... 104
4.4 Turbulent Environment Variable Results.............................. 107
4.5 Human Capital Variable Results...................................... 109
4.6 Organizational Resources Variable Result............................ Ill
4.7 Result for Education, Controlling for Population Change............. 113
4.8 Result for Income, Controlling for Population Change................ 114


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF
PUBLIC LANDS PLANNING IN THE WEST
The Changing West
Over the last several decades land use and natural resources planning in the
American West has changed dramatically. This change has paralleled the Wests
demographic and economic transformations. Between 1990 and 2000, the western
states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New
Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming grew at a rate faster than any
other region in the country (Robbins and Foster 2000). Much of this growth is
attributed to young, highly educated, and wealthy urbanites, footloose entrepreneurs
and retirees who are attracted to the natural amenities, outdoor recreation
opportunities, and high quality of life found in the rural West (Beyers and Nelson
2000; Cromartie and Wardwell 1998; Rudzitis 1999).
The region is also undergoing fundamental economic changes, shifting from
resource intensive and extractive industries to service and knowledge-based
industries (Power and Barrett 2001). For example, by the mid-1990s, nearly 80
percent of all western jobs were in non-good-producing industries like
transportation and communications, services and government (Power and Barrett
1


2001, 56). During that same time period, employment in natural resources
industries made up just under four percent of all jobs in the region, a drop from a
high of over 11 percent in 1970 (Power and Barrett 2001, 55). By the late 1990s,
natural resource industries provided for only one out of every thirty western jobs.
The affects of the economic restructuring have financial as well as cultural
implications. In addition to ranchers, miners and farmers finding themselves out of
work, they are also concerned that their culture and history are being lost (Smutny
and Takahashi 1999; Power and Barrett 2001).
Population growth and economic change are placing new demands on all
levels of government as they address social issues and environmental degradation
associated with economic restructuring and rapid and unplanned growth (Steel and
Lovrich 2000; Frentz et al. 2004). In particular, increased human development
along the wildland-urban interface is reducing plant and animal populations,
increasing air and water pollution, altering ecological processes, and increasing
threats of flood, wildfires, and other natural hazards (Benfield, Raimi, and Chen
1999; Johnson 2001; Ewert 1993; Hansen et al. 2002; Knight and Clark 1998).
In addition to environmental impacts, the increased number of people living
in the wildland-urban interface creates planning and administrative challenges as
well. Additional people living near public lands leads to more complex decision-
making environments due to fundamental difference among newcomers and long-
term residents in terms of how lands should be managed and what uses should be
2


allowed (e.g., motorized or non-motorized recreation, energy development, grazing)
(Ewert 1993; Frentz et al. 2004; Riebsame, Gosnell, and Theobald 1996). The
conflicts emerging between long-term residents and newcomers, and between
extractive industries and environmental groups over land use and resource
management have been particularly polarizing, leading to policy gridlock and
extensive litigation (Brick, Snow, and Van de Wetering 2001; Moote, McClaran,
and Chickering 1997). In response to these conflicts and stalemates local, state, and
federal governments are changing the way they engage in environmental planning
and management by embracing community-based collaboration (Koontz et al. 2004;
Weber 2000). The aim of this collaborative approach is to address conflicts by
bringing diverse interests together to find agreement on common goals for land and
resource management (Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000).
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the largest landowner in the West,
has become a leader in promoting and implementing collaborative planning (U.S.
Bureau of Land Management 1997, 2000). In addition to developing the BLMs
land use planning handbook which details what collaboration is and how to use it
(U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2005), the agency has also worked with the
National Training Center and the nonprofit Sonoran Institute to provide workshops
and trainings in collaborative planning. However, despite significant institutional
support for collaborative planning in the National BLM Office, the implementation
of the approach at the field level varies widely. While some BLM field offices have
3


successfully adopted collaboration, other offices have struggled with implementing
it and a number of offices have made no effort to implement it at all. Specifically,
the purpose of this dissertation is to identify the underlying forces that facilitate
and/or inhibit BLM field offices from adopting collaborative approaches to
planning. More generally, it contributes to a growing body of literature on how
governmental institutions are adopting and implementing community-based
collaborative approaches to land and resource management issues.
In the following section, collaborative planning is introduced and discussed
in light of public lands planning. The remainder of the chapter provides a brief
history of the BLM, focusing in particular on the shifts that have occurred in public
involvement in the last 75 years. The chapter concludes with an overview of the
dissertation.
Background on Collaborative Planning
Collaborative planning is defined as an array of practices in which diverse
stakeholders come together for face-to-face, long-term dialogue to address a policy
issue of common concern (Innes and Booher 1999). This consensus-based approach
has emerged, in part, to resolve conflict where other practices have failed. It can
also been seen as part of a societal response to changing conditions in increasingly
networked societies. In todays world, where power and information are widely
distributed and difference in knowledge and values among individuals and
4


communities are growing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for government at
any level to develop plans or address problems independently (Innes and Booher
1999) . Some planning scholars argue that collaboration is the only approach that
can accommodate the enormous fragmentation of interests and values we confront
in public arenas today and it is the only method of planning ... and public
involvement that is flexible, responsive and adaptive enough to be effective in the
uncertain and rapidly changing environment of the twenty-first century (Innes and
Booher 2000, 13-14).
Examples of collaborative planning are found from the local to national
scale, and around the world. In Europe many municipalities have voluntarily begun
collaborative processes to implement sustainable development goals (Coenen,
Huitema, and O'Toole 1998). In Australia, collaborative approaches have been
applied to land (Curtis and De Lacy 1996) and water resource management
(Margerum 1999). Across the United States, collaborative planning has been used
in growth management (Innes et al. 1994) and neighborhood planning (Julian 1994).
There has also been extensive use of collaboration in watershed (Imperial 2005;
Bentrup 2001; Leach and Pelkey 2001), forest and other natural resources
management efforts (Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000; Moote and Loucks 2003; Weber
2000) , as well as in developing environmental regulations (Fiorino 2000).
Many scholars have attributed the growth of collaborative planning in
federal lands management to the rise of ecosystem management, which represents a
5


fundamental change from a fragmented, incremental planning and management
approach to a holistic, comprehensive, interdisciplinary land and resource
management effort (Danter et al. 2000; Steel and Weber 2001; Frentz et al. 2000;
Kellogg 1998). Over the last decade, many federal agencies have changed
institutional arrangements and improved coordination between public, private and
nonprofit organizations to more effectively implement ecosystem management
(Imperial 1999). Collaboration is a particularly useful approach because it aids in
arranging relationships between stakeholders in a manner that more closely matches
the resources and responsibilities that each brings to the process (Daniels and
Walker 2001).
The adoption of collaborative processes by government agencies is
particularly interesting because these agencies work within the confines of
bureaucratic institutions, which are governed by administrative procedures and laws
that prohibit, require or permit specified actions by individual employees (Koontz et
al. 2004). The following history of the BLM illustrates the effects that institutional
requirements have had on the manner and extent to which the agency has involved
the public in its planning and management activities since its inception.
6


A Short History of the BLM
Birth of the BLM
Historians refer to the BLM as the youngest/oldest federal agency because it
was created by presidential executive order in 1946 by merging the oldest federal
agency, the General Land Office (GLO) started in 1812, with one of the newest
federal agencies, the Grazing Service, initiated in 1934 (Clawson 1971). The GLO
was established to oversee land sales from the public domain. For nearly a century,
the GLO carried out this national policy through the Homestead Act (1862) and
other land giveaway programs (Clawson 1971). In 1934, Congress passed the
Taylor Grazing Act, which greatly curbed the GLOs land disposal program and
created the Grazing Service to manage grazing on the public domain.1 By the mid-
1940s, the Grazing Service was in trouble. Not only was it operating at a deficit,
due to low grazing fees but also large portions of the public domain were severely
degraded. Prior to the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act, stockmen ran as many
livestock on the public range as they could, which created a veritable tragedy of the
commons (Culhane 1981) With the stroke of a pen, President Harry S. Truman
merged the two failing agencies to create the Bureau of Land Management and
1 The public domain refers to land owned by the U.S. government. It was land that had not been
given to the railroads, states or homesteaders. Public lands refers to those lands that the BLM
manages. Federal lands refer to lands managed by any federal agencies (e.g., USFS, BLM, NPS).
7


opened a new chapter in the history of... [public] land administration in the United
States (Muhn and Stuart 1988, 49).
The Bureau of Livestock and Mining
Compared to the other agencies, the BLM got off to a rocky start because it
was bom without a statutory base or a charismatic leader like the U.S. Forest
Services (USFS) Gifford Pinchot.2 The agency was charged with managing the
leftover lands those lands not disposed of by the GLO and told to administer
them using the outmoded and often conflicting mandates of the 3,500 laws passed
during the previous 150 years (Muhn and Stuart 1988, 54). The two laws
dominating the BLMs management responsibilities were the Taylor Grazing Act
(1934) and the General Mining Law (1872). Theses laws, developed by leaders of
the conservation movement operating from within a dominant resource use
paradigm, elevated grazing and mining interests over non-economic ones (Davis
2001).
While the General Mining Law did not have specific provisions for public
involvement, the Taylor Grazing Act required the BLM to establish and work with
2 There are several other differences between the USFS and the BLM. For one, the USFS was given
unencumbered lands, reserved as national forests prior to their occupancy, while the BLM took
over administration of public lands with a long history of private use by homesteading ranchers.
These stockmen often supplemented their private forage with free forage from the surrounding
federal commons (Loomis 2002, 57). Furthermore the USFS, from the beginning, managed for a
number of uses, while the BLM managed, for grazing and mining. Finally, the USFS is a national
organizational with national forest lands found across the country that are managed regionally. The
BLM is largely oriented to the West and is organized by state (Muhn and Stuart 1988).
8


grazing advisory boards.3 These boards, populated by local stockmen elected by
their fellow ranchers, advised the BLM on a variety of issues related to grazing
(Culhane 1981). The grazing boards, while they did not represent the broader
public interest because only those with livestock interests were allowed to sit on
them, did meet the requirements of the early pubic participation laws, specifically
the Administrative Procedures Act (1946). According to Acherman and Fairfax
(1979) the original public participation mandates required federal agencies to only
interact with those whos immediate interests would be affected by the
governments actions. Thus, in the early days of public involvement legislation, the
BLMs bias towards ranchers was seen as reasonable and within the purview of the
law.
However, as several historians have noted, the grazing boards went far
beyond advising BLM staff to actually directing operations at the field level (Foss
1969; Clawson 1971; Davis 2001). According to Foss (1969) ranchers drafted
codes of rules and regulations, allocated permits, supervised expenditures of
rangeland improvement funds, set grazing fees, and even hired and fired BLM
personnel. In effect, cattle ranchers dominated managerial decisions during the
BLMs early years, preventing the agency from developing new activities and new
constituents (Clarke and McCool 1996).
3 In the following pages, the term grazing boards is used in place of grazing advisory boards for
brevity.
9


By the mid-1950s, as a result of pressure from wildlife conservation groups,
individuals concerned about wildlife issues and habitat were added to the grazing
boards (Muhn and Stuart 1988). Another change that elevated the importance of
wildlife, recreation, and water resources for BLM managers was passage of the
Classification and Multiple Use Act of 1964 (Loomis 2002). The multiple-use
mandate enabled the agency to deflect the demands of the traditionally dominant use
interests, namely livestock and mining, for a broader constituency of interests such
as preservationist-minded wilderness and wildlife supporters, and recreational
interest (Culhane 1981; Clarke and McCool 1996). Together, legislative changes as
well as the increasing diversity of groups interested in BLM management decisions
diminished some of the grazing boards power and helped broaden the focus of the
agency. However, despite these changes, it would take the BLM many years to
transform itself from the Bureau of Livestock and Mining to the Best Land
Manager (Loomis 1993).
The Best Land Manager
In the late 1960s and 1970s, coinciding with the rise of the environmental
movement, the land management paradigm shifted away from dominant to multiple
use management (Achterman and Fairfax 1979; Moote and McClaran 1997). The
change was ushered in through a series of laws enacted by Congress starting with
the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act (1960), and continuing with the National
10


Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (1969), the Clean Water Act (1972), the
Endangered Species Act (1973), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
(FLMPA) (1976) and others. Congress also passed the Federal Advisory
Committee Act (FACA) (1972), which required agencies to ensure a balanced
representation of interests in advisory groups that provide input and
recommendations to government agencies (Norris-York 1996).
Both NEPA and FACA had direct impacts on the BLMs approaches to
planning and public involvement. With respect to planning, the BLMs first attempt
at complying with NEPA landed the agency in court. The BLM had written a single
environmental impact statement (EIS) for the entire grazing program nationwide. In
1973, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the BLM asserting that
the act of issuing grazing permits and licenses locally constituted a significant
federal action and therefore required locally prepared EISs to determine potential
impacts (Muhn and Stuart 1988). The district court agreed and ordered the BLM to
perform 144 separate EISs by 1988 (Olinger 1998). This court settlement became
the driving force in setting the BLMs planning schedule (Williams 1987). It also,
as Durant (1992) explains, pushed the BLM toward a conservation agenda and
accelerated diversification of its workforce.4 In response to FACA, the BLM
eliminated the single-interest grazing advisory boards in 1975 and replaced them
4 The agency hired wildlife biologists, soil scientists, archeologists, paleontologists, and planners
who brought professional values that stressed non-consumptive over consumptive uses of the public
lands in contrast to traditional BLM personnel (Durant 1992).
11


with multiple-use advisory boards, which were populated by a diverse group of
interests that better represented the BLMs constituency (Culhane 1981).
The most important legislation of the 1970s for the BLM was FLPMA. This
landmark law gave the BLM, for the first time in 30 years, cohesive statutory
authority to manage the public lands in perpetuity for the benefit of present and
future generations (U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2001). Important elements
of FLPMA include its emphasis on interdisciplinary multiple-use planning and
public involvement. The public participation provisions are fairly extensive,
requiring the BLM to
Establish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to
give the federal, state and local governments, and public adequate
notice and an opportunity to comment upon the formulation of
standards and criteria for, and to participate in, the preparation and
execution of plans and programs for, and the management of, the
public lands (43 U.S.C. 1701(a)(5) 1976).
Furthermore, FLPMA established multiple-use advisory councils, which were the
successors of the multiple-use advisory boards established the year before (Culhane
1981). The authors of FLMPA also included a provision that reinstated the grazing
advisory boards, in an attempt to please traditional constituents. Unlike earlier
times, however, the influence of the renewed boards was significantly narrowed,
limiting their advise to the development of allotment management plans and the
utilization of range improvement funds (Olinger 1998). The provision also stated
that the grazing boards were to be eliminated in ten years.
12


While the BLMs mission and focus were greatly expanding as a result of
the new environmental laws, many traditional public lands users and their political
allies felt threatened by the changes they were witnessing in the BLM. First,
ranchers and miners believed the host of environmental laws was transforming the
BLM from a custodian of the public lands to an active land manager, which they
considered threatening to their traditional uses (Clarke and McCool 1996). Second,
they were having less influence over the agency because more people were taking
an active interest not only in the public lands themselves, but also in the BLMs
management of these lands. In response, ranchers, miners and their powerful allies
staged the Sagebrush Rebellion (Cawley 1993). This rebellion gained official
recognition in 1979 when sympathetic Nevada legislators passed Assembly Bill
413, which claimed state control over federal lands in Nevada. The major goals of
the Sagebrush Rebels were to regain their influence in public lands decision-making
and ensure the primacy of resource development over preservation (Cawley 1993).
The Nevada rebellion coincided with the publication of the BLMs resource
management plan (RMP) regulations, which integrated NEPAs environmental
impact statement process into the agencys land use planning. The RMP rules
required each field office to prepare a comprehensive plan covering all the resources
within their jurisdiction (Williams 1987). According to several public lands
historians, just as the BLM was formalizing its planning and management
responsibilities and becoming more professional, the Reagan administration took
13


over the presidency, which had dramatic impacts on the agency (Zaslowsky 1994;
Durant 1992). As Clarke and McCool (1996, 167) explain, what the Carter
administration did to or for the BLM, the [Sagebrush Rebel-friendly] Reagan
administration undid. Under the direction of James Watt, Secretary of the Interior,
and Robert Burford, Director of the BLM, the agency reverted back to practices
reminiscent of the agencys Bureau of Livestock and Mining days.
During this time, planning and solicitations for public involvement were
scaled back (Durant 1992). With respect to the RMP process, the 1982 federal
budget reduced funding to the planning program by $1.5 million in an effort to
minimize what Watt called paralysis by analysis (Clarke and McCool 1996, 170).
In terms of public participation, Burford effectively stripped much of the authority
of the multiple use boards (Durant 1992), while Watt concentrated decision-making
power in Washington and reduced broad-based public participation opportunities to
the bare minimum (Zaslowsky 1994). The only interest group that received
renewed attention were ranchers, through Watts good neighbor policy. This
policy emphasized consultation, coordination, and cooperation with local public
lands users (Durant 1992, 53).
One such good neighbor program was the Cooperative Management
Agreements (CMA) initiative, which delegated to ranchers of proven stewardship
sole management discretion over public rangelands for a minimum of 10 years
(Zaleha 1986). According to Zaleha (1986), the CMAs effectively delegated
14


authority for public land management to the ranching industry. Concerned about
the undue influence these CM As gave to ranchers, the NRDC sued the BLM
(Zaleha 1986). The lawsuit was successful and in 1984 the CMA program was
dropped.
When the G.H. Bush came into office, he continued many of the
environmental and land use management policies of the Reagan administration
(Rosenbaum 1991). However, many of the policies were moderated due to pressure
from an emboldened environmental movement, which had grown during the Reagan
years in response to his anti-environment policies (Dunlap 1995).
The Bureau of Landscapes and Monuments
After the Reagan and G.H. Bush Eras, the Clinton administration took office
and brought sweeping reforms to land management and public involvement. Most
significant was the administrations embrace of ecosystem management, which
integrates ecological, social, and economic principles to manage biological and
physical systems in a manner that safeguards the long-term sustainability, natural
diversity, and productivity of landscapes (Shindler and Brunson 1999).
According to Haeuber (1998) three factors coalesced during the first two
years of the Clinton administration to set the stage for the newest shift in federal
land management. The first was the increasing number and visibility of
environmental crises such as the spotted owl controversy in the Pacific Northwest,
15


and reintroduction of the grizzly bear and gray wolf in the Greater Yellowstone
Ecosystem (Haeuber 1998). The second was related to changes in the political
environment. The 1992 election put the White House, Senate and House of
Representatives in Democratic hands for the first time in 12 years. The new
administration assumed an actively pro-environment stance, choosing key political
appointees well known for their environmental and scientific credentials including
Bruce Babbitt as Secretary of Interior and Jim Baca as Director of the BLM
(Haeuber 1998). The third factor was the perceived and real shortcomings in
existing natural resource policies and public participation opportunities. There was
a growing sense among members of Congress and the general public that the
command and control regulatory framework of the environmental laws of the 1970s
had outlived their capability to address the nations environmental problems (John
1994). Furthermore, people were concerned with the ability of the federal land
management bureaucracies, governed by conflicting statutory mandates, missions,
and management goals, to deal with trans-boundary natural resource issues
(Haeuber 1998).
By the mid-1990s all of the environmental regulatory and land management
agencies in the U.S. had drafted policy guidance regarding ecosystem management
(Haeuber 1996). For the BLM, the adoption of ecosystem management required the
agency to shift its priorities from short-term maximization of resources to long-term
sustainability of healthy, functioning ecosystems (U.S. Bureau of Land Management
16


1994). To do this, the BLM realized that field offices would have to work
collaboratively with other federal, state and private land managers, local
communities and other entities (U.S. Bureau of Land Management 1994). The word
collaboration entered BLM parlance in its 1994 Blueprint for the Future, the
agencys first formal, bureau-wide strategic planning document. Among its five
goals, the BLM stated that it should resolve problems and implement decisions in
collaboration with other agencies, states, tribal governments, and the public (U.S.
Bureau of Land Management 1994). In 1997, the BLM wrote more specific goals
aimed at promoting collaborative community-based planning throughout the agency
(U.S. Bureau of Land Management 1997).5
While there are no specific statutes requiring either ecosystem management
or collaborative planning, scholars point to recent policy reform efforts in the mid-
1990s that appear to have provided some impetus for encouraging federal agencies
to use collaboration. Wondolleck and Ryan (1999) suggest that the rise of
consensus building, dispute resolution and collaborative planning in federal
administrative decision-making are associated with the passage of the
Administrative Dispute Resolution and the Negotiated Rulemaking Acts of 1990.
These statutes, they argue, have prompted federal agencies to redefine their
approaches to administrative decision-making in order to address the increasingly
diversified public interest (Wondolleck and Ryan 1999).
5 A search of the BLMs Land Use Planning Handbook (2005) for collaboration and
collaborative resulted in 72 returns.
17


Another area of policy change, specific to the BLM, was rangeland reform
initiated by President Clintons Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt. While
many of the reforms met with stiff resistance from traditional land users (e.g.,
raising permit fees), some changes were implemented. One of the more significant
was creation of Resource Advisory Councils (RACs), which replaced the grazing
and multiple-use advisory boards (Olinger 1998). The final grazing rule gave the
following justification for the RACs:
The Department [of the Interior] is committed to the concept that all
groups should work together to develop recommendations regarding
the management of the public rangelands. Decisions reached this
way will be owned by all parties involved and there will be
significantly less likelihood of appeals and disputes, and greater
likelihood that effective actions will be identified and implemented
(60 Fed. Reg. 9916 1995).
The RACs, chartered under FAC A, require the participation of 15 people
representing resource use interests (e.g., ranching, mining, and off-road vehicle
groups), resource preservation and conservation interests (e.g., environmental,
cultural, and non-motorized recreation groups), and state, local and tribal interests,
and the general public. RACs represented the first in a long succession of
administrative changes made by the Clinton administration to support a more
collaborative approach to federal land management as well as environmental
protection in general.6
6 Other examples include the Environmental Protection Agencys Community-Based Environmental
Protection Program and the US Fish and Wildlife Services revised Habitat Conservation Plans
(Nelson 2000).
18


In addition to bringing changes to the way in which the BLM managed the
public domain, the Clinton administration broadened the BLMs management
function with the creation of 15 national monuments between 1996 and 2001 (Jarvis
2003). With its newest management responsibilities, the BLM began shifting from
an agency responsible for developing commodities to one focused on the long-term
conservation of public lands (Jarvis 2003). With this expanded mission,
conservation groups gave the agency a new nick name, the Bureau of Landscapes
and Monuments (Dombeck, Wood, and Williams 2003, 44).
While uninterested in advancing all of Clintons environmental policies,
community-based collaboration has remained a significant focus in the George W.
n
Bush administration. The current framework for public lands policy is summarized
by the Secretary of the Interior Gale Nortons four Cs agenda: conservation
o
through cooperation, communication, and consultation.
A key element of the Bush administrations community-based planning
efforts is the Cooperative Conservation Initiative. As described in Bushs Executive 7 8
7 It appears, based on comments made by Kathleen Clarke, Director of the BLM under G.W. Bush,
that the BLMs new emphasis on monuments and landscapes is not necessarily the current
administrations aim for the bureau. In a speech to the Society for Range Management, Clarke
explained: Some of you may remember fondly the days when BLM was ... referred to as the
Bureau of Livestock and Mining, and based on what happened in the last decade, some people
think it is much closer to the Bureau of Landscapes and Monuments. But I am here today to tell
you we are still interested in multiple use and my motivation for coming to this Agency was to secure
that mission (Clarke 2003).
8 It is worth noting that Gale Norton spent the first four years of her career working at the Mountain
States Legal Foundation founded by former Secretary of the Interior James Watt. Her four Cs
agenda shares much in common with her former bosss good neighbor policy, which was
predicated on consultation, coordination, and cooperation with states, localities, and public land
users.
19


Order, Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation, signed August 26, 2004, the
comprehensive initiative is aimed at expanding partnerships with hunting, fishing,
and conservation organizations and private landowners in order to improve wildlife
habitat and promote best management practices (Red Lodge 2005). In a speech at
the White House Cooperative Conservation Conference in 2005, Gale Norton
defined cooperative conservation as common sense conservation by people from
every walk of life. It is rooted in collaborative decision-making, shared governance,
and bottom-up action (Norton 2005). According to Norton, cooperative
conservation is a new form of governance, which through collaboration and
partnerships provides a way to achieve healthy lands, waters, and wildlife, and
thriving communities (Norton 2005).
Another program, started by the BLM to promote greater collaboration,
particularly with local government, is the Cooperative Agency initiative. This new
policy makes the BLM the first federal agency to disseminate regulations that
establish a consistent and permanent role for governmental involvement in the
BLMs planning processes (U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2005). According to
the BLM, by working closely with our state, local, tribal and federal government
partners, we will improve communication and understanding, identify common
goals and objectives, and enhance the quality of our management of the public
lands (U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2005). Through the Cooperating Agency
rule and the Cooperative Conservation Initiative, the Bush administration is
20


embracing many of the ideas of community-based collaboration that were first
outlined during the Clinton years.
Much of the planning and resource management literature suggests that the
Clinton and Bush administrations focus on collaboration has expanded public
involvement in agency decision-making processes (Selin, Schuett, and Carr 2000;
Godschalk and Robert 1999). Furthermore, collaborative processes have provided a
framework within which historic adversaries can come together to find solutions to
common concerns. According to Yaffee (1996), the promise of collaboration is its
potential for transforming organizations and decision-making processes by making
participants more willing to experiment, innovate and look beyond themselves.
While there is much support for the shift to collaborative planning, some
environmentalists and legal scholars express concern that community-based
collaboration represents a devolution of public lands decision-making to local
groups. Michael McCloskey (1996), former head of the Sierra Club, argues that
collaborative efforts lack representation of national environmental groups and urban
interests, and tend to be heavily influenced by industry and business interests.
Taking a historical perspective, Coggins (1999), a noted scholar in natural resources
law, provides evidence that decision-making at the local level, such as that which
occurred in the rancher-run grazing advisory boards, is typically narrow, greedy and
shortsighted. Both McCloskey and Coggins see collaboration as providing just
another means for commodity-focused interests to protect their stakes in the West.
21


Proponents of collaboration counter these concerns by explaining that
collaborative efforts should be seen as supplementing administrative processes and
not as substitutions for or replacements of current arrangements (Weber 2000;
Leach 2001; Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000). Furthermore, they argue that
collaboration holds great promise, but only to the extent that it is bounded by
mechanisms of accountability and conducted within the purview of existing laws
(Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000).
Summary and Dissertation Overview
The previous section reviewed the BLMs history paying close attention to
the evolution of public participation and planning. In the early years of the BLM,
federal statutes mandated single use management (e.g., grazing and mining) and
interactions with only affected interests, not the general public. With the rise of the
environmental movement, Congress passed a series of laws that expanded the
BLMs management mission from dominant to multiple-use, and required broad-
based public participation. The final management shift occurred during the Clinton
administration, where the focus turned to ecosystem management. As a means to
implement ecosystem management and to broaden public involvement in agency
decision-making, the BLM is encouraging field offices to use collaboration, which
has become the agencys preferred planning approach.
22


Although the National BLM Office would like to see all field offices use
collaborative planning, not every field office has embraced it. The differential
adoption of collaboration by field offices suggests that institutional support provides
only a partial explanation for why collaboration may be implemented. Given that
field offices are located in unique settings and employ staff with different skills and
educational backgrounds, it seems these factors may also provide insight into
variation in adoption. Relying on qualitative and quantitative data collected from
BLM field office staff and representatives from environmental, ranching, industry,
recreation, and local government interests, this study examines conditions existing
in the institutional, community and field office contexts that may motivate some
offices and inhibit others from adopting collaborative approaches to planning.
In the following chapter, the research problematic is further outlined, as are
the four theories and one thesis used to examine the adoption and non-adoption of
collaboration by BLM field offices. Chapter 3 describes the two-stage, multiple-
method research strategy designed to examine the research problem. Chapter 4
provides a quantitative analysis of factors influencing the adoption of collaboration
based on data collected from a survey of BLM field office staff. Chapters 5 and 6
provide descriptions and analysis of four case studies. The BLM field offices in
Grand Junction, Colorado, and Ely, Nevada, exemplify offices where collaboration
has been adopted and are discussed in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 examines the Carlsbad,
New Mexico, and the Little Snake, Colorado, field offices, which illustrate offices
23


where collaboration has not been adopted. The concluding chapter compares the
findings from the three substantive chapters, discusses theoretical and policy
implications, and outlines future research needs.
24


CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW AND
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Introduction
This chapter discusses the emergence of collaboration as an alternative
planning model. It then provides a review of previous research on collaborative
processes initiated for land use planning and natural resource management. From
there, the discussion turns to current research needs and the contributions this
dissertation makes to the growing body of knowledge on community-based
collaboration. A conceptual framework is proposed to illustrate how the adoption of
collaboration by a BLM field office is likely to be influenced by a combination of
factors operating at different levels. Next, institutional, contingency, community
capacity, and leadership theories, and the New West thesis are examined to identify
potential motivators or inhibiters of collaborative adoption. The chapter concludes
with an outline of the research hypotheses.
Practical and Theoretical Underpinnings of Collaborative Planning
Collaborative planning is described by Innes (1996) as planning through
consensus building. First advocated by Godschalk and Mills (1966), this approach
25


values the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders throughout the planning
process, where two-way communication between the public and planning agencies
is favored (Margerum 2002). Collaborative planning differs from traditional
planning in several ways: it views planners as actors in the world rather than
observers or neutral experts, it relies on qualitative, interpretive inquiry as opposed
to logical deductive analysis, and it seeks to understand the unique and contextual
rather than making general propositions (Innes 1995).
Collaborative planning has its roots in advocacy planning (Davidoff 1965)
and alternative dispute resolution (Susskind and Cruikshank 1987). Advocacy
planning stresses stakeholder empowerment based on the argument that all interests
in society, particularly those who lack power, should be represented by planners in
issues of public policy (Heskin 1980). In alternative dispute resolution, planners act
as mediators to help stakeholders resolve conflicts in mutually beneficial ways,
through voluntary, face-to-face, consensus-based problem-solving (Manring 1998;
Godschalk and Robert 1999). Collaborative planning, as Gunter and Day (2003)
explain, is a logical extension of these two planning models. Collaboration is
similar to advocacy planning in that it recognizes that a diversity of interests should
be represented in a planning process. Like mediation, collaboration acknowledges
that these different interests must meet face-to-face in order to discover mutually
acceptable outcomes (Gunton and Day 2003).
26


Collaborative planning is theoretically grounded in Habermas (1984) work
on communicative action. A key assumption of communicative action theory is that
reasoning and rationality are elements formed through intersubjective
communication. Habermas argues that communal reasoning is required if diverse
groups are to find agreement on how to address collective concerns. Healey (1999),
a planning theorist, explains that communicative action challenges the politics of
pluralism, which assumes that rational calculating actors compete in the policy
arena for their individual interests. The aim of communicative action is to create a
politics of public conversation where affected parties interactively communicate to
develop new governance structures and respond to change using collaboration rather
than competition (Healey 1999).
Communicative action is based in the normative ideal of good
communication, which can be evaluated according to what Habermas (1984)
describes as the ideal speech situation. The ideal speech factors, which include
sincerity, accuracy, comprehensibility, and legitimacy, can be used to assess the
quality of communication (Renn 1995; Booher and Innes 2002). According to
Healey (1999, 117-118) these four aspects of ideal speech provide a critical
probing tool to challenge entrenched power, to foster reflexivity and to limit the
unthinking adoption of routines that may merely serve to reinforce and entrench past
practices and power relations. In planning processes where ideal speech is used,
27


Dryzek (1990) argues that bureaucratic hierarchies are weakened and decision-
making is re-democratized.
In practice, the rise of collaborative planning is associated with a failure of
traditional processes to address complex problems and to resolve conflicts between
diverse interests (Innes and Booher 1999; Gray 1989). More generally, scholars
have noted that collaborative planning can also been seen as part of a societal
response to increasingly networked societies (Healey 1999; Innes and Booher
1999). From this view, collaboration has become necessary as a means to tap into
power and information that have become widely distributed, and for dealing with
complex problems that can not be addressed by individual government agencies or
the private sector alone (Innes and Booher 1999).
Collaborative efforts have arisen in a number of social sectors, ranging from
housing, health and social services (Takahashi and Smutny 2001) to transportation
(Blumenberg 2002). Over the last decade collaborative planning has gained
currency among federal agencies responsible for environmental and natural
resources management due to a shift in management philosophies. Management has
evolved from technocratic planning models focused on isolated public land units
emphasizing the maximization of a narrow set of goals to ecosystem management
focused on multiple-jurisdictional landscapes emphasizing broad sets of goals
determined through consensus-based discussions among diverse interests (Yaffee
and Wondolleck 2003).
28


There has been an extensive examination of collaborative efforts,
particularly in the field of natural resources management; however, the literature is
limited in its examination of the conditions, or underlying forces, that either foster
or impede collaborative efforts. The next section reviews previous research on
natural resources collaborations and discusses the contributions of this research to
the literature.
Gaps in the Natural Resource Collaboration Literature
With the rise of collaborative efforts, there has been much attention given to
evaluating these efforts. According to Gray and Wood (1991), three critical aspects
of collaborative efforts are important to investigate: 1) the preconditions that make
collaboration possible and motivate stakeholders, 2) the processes through which
collaboration occurs, and 3) the outcomes of collaborative processes. Much of the
previous research on collaborative natural resource efforts has focused on
examining processes and outcomes.
For example, researchers relying on case studies and surveys of USFS and
watershed council collaboratives have identified important process elements. These
include having diverse stakeholder participation, organizational support, clear
decision-making rules, and effective leadership (Kenney 2000; Leach 2001; Toupal
1998; Margerum 1999; Schuett, Selin, and Carr 2001; Williams and Ellefson 1996;
McCool and Guthrie 2001). In terms of outcomes, other researchers have evaluated
29


notions of success, finding that stakeholders define success in terms of visible
outputs (e.g., plans, on-the-ground projects) as well as less tangible outcomes (e.g.,
learning, relationship building) (Selin, Schuett, and Carr 2000; Schuett and Selin
2002; Moore 1996; McCool and Guthrie 2001).
Researchers have also examined the benefits and challenges of collaborative
processes in the area of natural resources planning and management. Benefits
include better decisions, broad support for decisions, and cost-effectiveness. In
contrast, challenges faced by existing groups include stubborn personalities, rotating
membership, conflicting agency mandates, and avoidance of controversial issues
(Schuett, Selin, and Carr 2001; Manring 1998; Yaffee, Wondolleck, and Lippman
1997; Moote and Becker 2003; Paulson 1998; Wondolleck 1988; Leach 2002;
Margerum 2002).
Overall, this previous research has largely clarified the basic requirements of
collaborative processes It has also thoroughly evaluated the different types of
successes groups might expect from such processes. Where the existing research is
limited is in identifying the prerequisite conditions that lead to the adoption of
collaboration or factors that impede its adoption. In particular, several scholars have
argued that a shortcoming in the existing collaborative literature is related to a lack
of systematic analysis of the conditions that motivate or inhibit the adoption of
collaboration by government agencies (Gunton and Day 2003; Steelman 2000;
30


Webler and Tuler 2000; Lachapelle, McCool, and Patterson 2003; Weber, Lovrich,
and Gaffney 2005).
Another problem is that where preconditions or barriers to collaboration
have been identified in the literature, it has largely been anecdotal, based on single
or a limited number of case studies examining the experiences of nonprofit
organizations, (Cigler 1999), natural resource and community forestry partnerships
(Williams and Ellefson 1996; Moote and Becker 2003), and ecosystem management
initiatives (Yaffee, Wondolleck, and Lippman 1997; McCool and Guthrie 2001;
Cortner et al. 1998; Lachapelle, McCool, and Patterson 2003). For example, these
studies have found that antecedents to collaboration may include a disaster or crisis,
community fiscal or economic stress, political constituency (e.g., support from
elected officials, public interests/opinion), common vision, existing networks,
external technical or financial assistance, visible advantages, leadership, and
legislative mandate or fear of regulations (Cigler 1994; Williams and Ellefson 1996;
Yaffee, Wondolleck, and Lippman 1997; McCool and Guthrie 2001). Researchers
also discovered barriers to collaboration, such as lack of constituency for
cooperation, inflexible institutional designs, agency mandates, employee
performance incentives, lack of people skills, uncertainty about time, cost, and
outcomes, and technological, scientific or value issues (Yaffee, Wondolleck, and
Lippman 1997; Moote and Becker 2003; Hoffman et al. 2002; Lachapelle, McCool,
and Patterson 2003; Cortner et al. 1998).
31


While these studies have contributed to the literature, especially by
providing a preliminary list of potential antecedents and barriers, little effort has
been made to link these findings to relevant theories or to examine the conditions
that influence whether and to what extent collaboration is adopted. The aim of this
dissertation is to more accurately predict which factors facilitate or inhibit the
adoption of collaboration by government agencies by examining the underlying
forces that may influence it.
In summary, much of the literature on natural resources collaboration
focuses on process issues such as breadth of participants, procedures (e.g., decision-
making, ground rules, agenda-setting, facilitation), and evaluation of outcomes.
Furthermore, research identifying antecedents and barriers to the adoption of
collaboration has been anecdotal, and not linked to theoretical explanations. To
address this shortcoming, this research gives systematic attention to the conditions
that influence government organizations to adopt collaborative approaches. With an
organization like the BLM, which operates at the national level, but has individual
field units scattered across the western U.S., it is likely that the prerequisites for
collaboration or the impediments against collaboration will operate at three different
levels: the institutional, the community (e.g., where the field offices is located), and
within the field office itself.
32


To guide the theoretical discussion and to outline the potential factors
operating at the three levels of influence,, a conceptual framework has been
developed, which is described in the following section.
Conceptual Framework
As Mitchell (1989) explains, a conceptual framework can be useful both for
isolating and examining the influence of particular variables, and as an organizing
device to structure a problem and identify its parts. The Institutional Analysis and
Development (IAD) framework, a conceptual construct that has been developed and
modified over the years by Ostrom, Gardener, and Walker (1994), emphasizes the
importance of context in policy processes and outcomes. The IAD framework
consists of several key pieces: 1) the attributes of the physical environment, 2) the
attributes of the community, 3) rules-in-use (e.g., incentive and constraints on
certain actions), 4) the action arena, defined as the physical and institutional world
where actors interact in specific action situations, defined as social spaces, 5)
patterns of interactions among individuals (e.g., exchange of goods and services,
problem solving, fighting), and 6) outcomes.
In a recent study on farmland preservation planning, Koontz (2005)
employed the IAD framework to examine the combination of physical, community,
or rule variables that explain the impact of stakeholder participation on policy
making at the local level. The framework has also been utilized by other
33


researchers to examine collective decision-making for fisheries, groundwater
provision, ecosystem and forest management (Waage 2003; Imperial 1999; Ostrom,
Gardner, and Walker 1994).
For this dissertation, a modified IAD framework was developed to account
for the contextual realities within which federal land management agencies exist.
Shown in Figure 2.1, the conceptual framework suggests that a combination of
factors associated with the institutional, community, and field office contexts are
likely to create the conditions that either motivate field office adoption of
collaboration or inhibit it.
From the institutional context factors such as procedures and laws are
considered for their potential influence on field office adoption of collaboration.
The community context considers the affect that population and economic trends and
community capacity characteristics have on field office adoption. Finally, the field
office context examines the role that field manager and office staff characteristics
play on adoption of collaboration.
34


Figure 2.1. Conceptual Framework for Adoption of Collaboration
Extensive
Collaboration
Limited
Collaboration
No
Collaboration
KEY:
>
>
A combination of factors work in concert to MOTIVATE field office adoption of
collaborative approach for most planning & management activities.
A combination of factors work to both MOTIVATE & IMPEDE field office attempts
to adopt collaborative approach to planning activities.
A combination of factors IMPEDE field office adoption of collaborative approach to
planning or management activities.
In the following section, several theories including institutional,
contingency, community capacity, leadership, and group relations, and the New
West thesis are reviewed for their alternative explanations as to why collaboration
may occur in some places and not in others. This group of theories has been
selected to examine the potential factors influencing adoption of collaboration based
on the BLMs organizational realities.
To begin with, BLM field offices are individual units situated within a larger
institutional context governed by myriad rules. Institutional theory provides a
35


useful framework for examining the affect that federal laws, administrative
procedures or mandates may have on whether and to what extent a field office
adopts collaboration (Ebrahim 2004). Furthermore, field offices operate within a
particular community context. As was discussed in the introduction, the U.S. West,
where most of the BLM field offices are located, has undergone extensive socio-
economic changes in the last two decades. Contingency theory suggests that
organizations collaborate with other entities as a way to reduce affects from a
turbulent environment (Gray 1989; Alexander 1995). Community capacity, on the
other hand, proposes that community characteristics, in particular demographic,
social, and organizational resources, may motivate or inhibit collaboration (Chaskin
2001; Innes and Booher 2003). The New West thesis suggests that collaboration is
more likely to be adopted as a result of a combination of factors related to
population growth and community demographic characteristics.
Finally, in an effort to address the critiques that the institutional and
contingency theories are overly deterministic, this study turns to behavioral theories.
Both leadership and groups relations theories help make sense of the influence that
agency, or the role particular people acting within or beyond institutional
constraints, may have on the adoption of collaboration (Conger 1999; Chrislip 1994;
Luke 1998).
The contribution of this research is in showing which theory, or combination
of theories, provides the better explanation for collaborative adoption by BLM field
36


offices. By more accurately understanding the forces that facilitate and hinder the
adoption of collaborative planning by individual units of land management
organizations, it may be possible to identify the conditions under which
collaboration is best suited and those where it may not be. Furthermore, by
identifying barriers associated with the institutional, community, and field office
context, it may be easier for land management agencies wishing to adopt
collaboration to isolate and overcome the those issues that inhibit its adoption.
Theoretical Review
Institutional Context
Institutional theory provides one explanation for why adoption of
collaboration may vary by BLM field offices. The underlying assumption of
institutional theory is that institutions, which are composed of structures, laws, rules
and protocols, constrain and motivate individuals within them by prohibiting,
requiring, or permitting particular actions (Ostrom, Gardner, and Walker 1994;
Peters 1999). In relation to collaboration, scholars have recently argued that the
highly centralized design of government institutions not only establish the structural
basis upon which collaborative efforts are built, but may also frame the possibilities
for collaboration to emerge or be thwarted (Ebrahim 2004; Waage 2003). Given
that BLM field offices are individual units of a larger institutional construct, it is
37


likely that the institutional context will have some influence on whether and to what
extent field offices adopt collaborative planning processes. In the following section,
two aspects of the institutional context that may have an affect, administrative
procedures and federal statutes, are examined.
Administrative Procedures. In federal land management agencies,
administrative procedures tend to emphasize stable, linear processes, specialized
and compartmentalized expertise, and top-down management. Much of the
literature on collaboration in natural resources management suggests that
administrative procedures tend to inhibit collaboration. Two procedural issues that
previous research has found to pose challenges to collaboration include decision-
making requirements and personnel reward systems.
Scholars examining the implementation of ecosystem management by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USFS found that centralized decision-
making requirements created barriers for field office staff attempting to work
collaboratively with others. In particular, staff reported feeling stifled by their
inability to make decisions without approval from higher levels (Danter et al. 2000;
Cortner and Moote 1999). Furthermore, the current policy that final decision-
making authority is in the hands of the federal agencies like the BLM, conflicts with
the power-sharing assumptions of collaborative processes (Moote, McClaran, and
Chickering 1997). Tensions and uncertainties around decision-making power and
authority may impede the ability of BLM field offices to engage in collaboration.
38


Researchers have also found that current employee performance reviews and
incentives recognize staff for work that contributes to commodity production and
efficiencies in resource management, but does not recognize work associated with
collaboration (Cortner and Moote 1999). The additional time or resources they put
into building relationships with local government or interested stakeholders
traditionally has not been acknowledged or accounted for in personnel reviews
(Manring 1998). The current procedures for employee output are not conducive to
encouraging collaborative planning, an approach that requires more time and
involves outcomes that are harder to account for (e.g., agency-community
relationship building).
Based on previous research, it appears that administrative procedures are
more likely to hinder the adoption of collaboration than motivate it. In the next
section, the influence of federal statutes on collaborative adoption is explored.
Federal Statutes. Federal laws have been developed both to govern society
and to the direct the actions and activities of government agencies, which range
from specifying how agencies interact with the public to how they manage
particular resources. Unlike administrative procedures, which have been found to
inhibit collaboration, scholars have found that some federal laws may facilitate
collaboration while others may hinder it (Meidinger 1998; Moote and McClaran
1997). The discussion in the literature on federal statutes has highlighted laws in
three areas: conflict resolution, public participation, and specific natural resources.
39


Conflict Resolution and Participation. With respect to facilitating
collaboration in federal land management agency decision-making, Wondolleck and
Ryan (1999) point to the passage of two laws, the Administrative Dispute
Resolution Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act, both in 1990, as promoting
collaboration. In the most recent Land Use Planning Handbook (2005), the BLM
references these laws as providing the support for and framework within which field
offices should work to develop collaborative approaches to planning. The
consistency review requirement in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
(FLPMA) is another requirement that may support collaboration (Loomis 2002).
The review obligates the BLM to ensure that their plans are consistent with those of
adjacent landowners such as other federal agencies, state or local governments, or
Native American tribes.
The laws mentioned above are examples of those that may encourage the use
of collaborative processes, however, many more studies have found that federal
laws tend to be a greater threat than help (Ressetar 2003; Beierle and Long 1999).
Of particular concern is the 1972 Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The
original intent of FACA was to diminish unnecessary committees, limit big-business
influence on regulatory processes, and open meetings and reports to the public
(Norris-York 1996). However, federal land management agencies continually cite
FACA as a significant stumbling block in their efforts to develop collaborative
groups to implement ecosystem management (Lynch 1996; Ressetar 2003). Beierle
40


and Long (1999) have described FACA as having numerous chilling effects on
stakeholder involvement in environmental decision-making. Of particular concern
are the extensive procedural and administrative requirements, which have dissuaded
outside groups and agencies from forming advisory committees (Beierle and Long
1999; Cortner 2001). Another disturbing impact of FACA on potential collaborative
efforts is the fear of litigation, which studies have found make agency staff wary of
engaging the public outside of FACA chartered groups (Beierle and Long 1999;
Cortner 2001).
The federal laws specifying how federal personnel should resolve conflicts
or interact with the public affect all field offices and thus have the same potential for
motivating or inhibiting field offices from adopting collaboration. Federal statutes
also dictate how particular resources are to be managed.
Natural Resources. Laws governing the use and management of resources
may also impact agency collaborative efforts, although these laws may have a
greater affect in some field offices than others depending on the dominant resource
issues present in a field offices jurisdiction (e.g., oil and gas, grazing, recreation).
For example, some resource laws stress the primacy of use, such as the 1872
General Mining Law, which specifies mining as the highest use of public lands
(Davis 2001; Bryner 1998). Dominant use mandates, while perhaps somewhat
constrained in the era of ecosystem management and NEPA, still carry significant
weight (Leshy 1987). Furthermore, laws that govern mineral and energy
41


development provide specific and detailed mandates, whereas others, like those
developed for grazing permits are more flexible (Bryner 1998). In terms of oil and
gas exploration and production activities, no fewer than six federal statues regulate
these activities, which include the National Environmental Policy Act (1969); the
Toxic Substances Control Act (1976); the Compressive Environmental Response,
Compensation and Liability Act (1980); the Antiquities Act (1906); and the
Threatened and Endangered Species Act (1973) (Kunce, Gerking, and Morgan
2004). Furthermore, energy issues are influenced by national economics and
politics, which require a level of national planning not essential for other resource
issues such as grazing, wildlife, and recreation (Durant 1992).
As the literature above suggests, it appears that the dominant resource issue
managed by a field office may affect its adoption of collaboration due to the nature
of the federal statutes governing particular resource issues over others (e.g., oil and
gas versus recreation or grazing). Offices managing less highly regulated and more
locally-oriented resource issues may be more apt to adopt collaborative approaches
than those managing resource issues governed by a rigid set of laws and with
national significance.
Summary of Institutional Theory. Institutional theory tests whether
institutional level factors, including bureaucratic procedures and federal laws are
likely to influence the decision of field office staff to adopt a collaborative approach
to planning. The review suggests that different procedures and laws may have
42


differential impacts on field offices. While some may affect all units equally, in
other cases, procedures and laws appear to be related to specific activities that may
affect only field offices that have to develop plans for certain types of resource
issues (e.g., oil and gas). In the following section, theories testing the affect of
community context on field office adoption of collaboration are discussed.
Community Context
Contingency and community capacity theories, and the New West thesis,
which combines aspects of these theories, suggest that adoption of collaboration at
the field level is influenced by community context, particularly the economic, social
and political circumstances unique to specific regions and localities (Michaels,
Mason, and Solecki 1999; Edwards and Steins 1999).
Contingency Theory. Contingency theory is found in the organizational
literature and explains organizational change based on response to environmental
uncertainties. The theory was originally developed to explain how large
corporations altered their structures in response to dynamic markets or regulatory
environments (Lawrence 1967; Donaldson 2001). Scholars of interorganizational
coordination have applied contingency theory to collaboration, explaining that two
or more organizations may choose to collaborate as a means to lessen the impacts of
turbulent environments (Alexander 1995; Gray 1989). In addition to reducing
environmental uncertainties, organizations may turn to collaboration as a way to
43


address complex problems that are outside the domain of any particular entity (Innes
and Booher 1999; Randolf and Bauer 1999). While contingency theory has been
particularly salient for explaining private collaborative ventures, it may also prove
useful for explaining why BLM field offices are turning to collaboration. BLM
offices operate largely in the U.S. West, where dramatic population and economic
change over the last decade have created a dynamic and challenging environment.
Population and Economic Change. Over the last 30 years, the social and
economic fabric of the American West has changed significantly (Lorah and
Southwick 2003; Shumway and Davis 1996). In addition to experiencing the
highest population growth in the county, many western counties have seen their
dominant economic sectors shift from extraction and production to services and
knowledge-based industries (Rasker 1999; Smutny and Takahashi 1999). While
scholars have found that these trends are creating a challenging management
environment for the federal land management agencies (Hansen et al. 2002; Frentz
et al. 2004; Ewert 1993; Riebsame, Gosnell, and Theobald 1996), there has been
little analysis to show that these trends are associated with adoption of
collaboration. Contingency theory is tested in this dissertation to see whether and
how population growth and economic restructuring may influence field office
adoption of collaboration.
In contrast to the dynamic environment argument presented by contingency
theory, the community capacity theory suggests that the capacity of a community to
44


participate and take collective action is what is likely to affect a field offices
decision to adopt collaboration.
Community Capacity. Community capacity theory, informed by the
community development, public participation, and human and social capital
literatures, examines the link between organizational change and the level of a
communitys ability to take collective action. Community capacity is defined in the
literature as the interaction of human capital, organizational resources, and social
capital existing within a given community that can be leveraged to solve collective
problems and improve or maintain the well-being of a given community (Chaskin
2001,295).
Community capacity has been used primarily to examine the influence that
available individual and community resources, usually at the neighborhood scale,
have on enabling communities to improve their immediate surroundings or increase
their access to decision-makers (Chaskin 2001). Studies of USFS and community
relationships have concluded that one way to improve interactions between the
Forest Service and local communities is to build community capacity for local
participants through leadership, planning and consensus-building training (Frentz et
al. 2000; Doppelt, Shinn, and John 2002). Innes and Booher (2003) in their studies
of collaborative water management in California have found that community
capacity is developed through collaborative processes themselves. For this study,
45


community capacity is considered to examine the extent to which existing capacity
in a community affects field office adoption of collaboration.
As indicated by the definition of community capacity, capacity is a resource
available at both the individual and communal levels. At the individual level,
capacity is measured in the form of human capital, defined as skills, knowledge, and
talent. At the social level, capacity can be measured in the form of social capital
and organizational resources. These attributes of community capacity are discussed
in greater detail below.
Human Capital. Human capital is defined by Coleman (1988) as the skills
and knowledge held or acquired by individuals enabling them to take action. For
many years, scholars studying civic engagement have considered the influence of
human capital in determining public involvement in general politics, as well as
participation in environmental issues (Steel and Weber 2001; Overdevest 2000;
Laurian 2003; Paulsen 1991). Previous studies have relied on a number of
demographic attributes to measure human capital including level of education and
income. In general, both higher levels of education (Fortmann and Kusel 1990;
Rank and Voss 1982; Salka 2001; Williams et al. 2001) and income (Fortmann and
Starrs 1990; Gimpel, Morris, and Armstrong 2004; Salka 2001) have consistently
been found to be important in explaining individual participation. These studies
have found that individual with high levels of education and income are more likely
46


to be socially and politically engaged because they have the resources and skills to
do so (Blahna and Yonts-Shepard 1989).
Human capital, which measures the individual level contribution to
community capacity, suggests that the greater the human capital present within a
community, the more likely collaboration is to be adopted. Contributing to
community capacity at the communal level are organizational resources and social
capital.
Organizational Resources. These resources may influence what Chaskin
(2001) refers to as the communitys level of commitment to become involved or
engaged in collective problem solving. This level of commitment can be measured
through several attributes including the vitality of civil society. Civil society, which
is described as the organizational facet of society that lies between the political and
economic spheres, is often initiated and sustained by nonprofit organizations
(O'Connell 1995). In previous research on civil society, scholars have relied on the
presence of nonprofits as a measure for the concept (Stolle and Rochon 2001;
Fortmann and Kusel 1990).
Nonprofits play a critical role in communities. They contribute to
communities by enhancing human capital through public education on social and
environmental issues and skill-building for political participation (Clarke 2001;
Stolle and Rochon 2001; Jackson-Elmore and Hula 2001; Guest and Oropesa 1986).
Nonprofit organizations also contribute organizational skills and resources to
47


communities, and have been found to aid in the creation of public-private
partnerships, service delivery, coalition building, and in some cases, initiating policy
formulation on issues ranging from education, to economic development and
regional planning (Jackson-Elmore and Hula 2001).9
Research by Putnam (1993, 1994) on democracy and civic participation in
Italy found that regions rich in community associations had citizenries actively
engaged in public issues and politics. Another study, by Fortmann and Starrs
(1990), found that the presence of social organizations had a significant influence on
a communitys ability to ward off an unwanted power plant. Since organizational
resources, in the form of nonprofits, provide communities with the civic
infrastructure needed to take collective action, this study is interested in examining
the link between the presence of nonprofit organizations and federal agency
adoption of collaboration.
Social Capital. A final aspect of community capacity, which also considers
the communal level, is social capital. Putnam describes social capital as networks,
norms and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual
benefit (Putnam 1995, 67). The existence of or development of trust between
individuals, organizations, and agencies is a key element of social capital. In terms
of interorganizational collaboration (e.g., between nonprofit organizations, or
9 Such prior networks contribute to institutional thickness, described as an interlocking web of
organizations and relationships that can increase trust and stimulate entrepreneurial activities
(Koontz 2005).
48


industries, public/private entities), scholars have found that collaborative efforts are
more likely to succeed where trusting relationships have been developed (Ryan
1994; Innes et al. 1994; Alexander 1995; Waddock 1989; Gulati and Gargiulo
1999). Rudd (2000) explains that positive social relationships between individuals
and organizations can constitute a resource, which actors can draw on to assist them
in increasing their own well-being as well as that of their community. One
characteristic of social capital, which sets it a part from the other forms of capital
(e.g., financial) is that it is not depleted with use; and in fact it has been found to
actually increase in value with use (Ostrom 1999).
According to the literature on collaboration, organizations with past
coordination experiences will be more likely to engage in collaboration in the future
(Gray 1985; Gulati and Gargiulo 1999). Cigler (1994), in an analysis of nonprofit
organizations, found that the degree of practical experience gained in formal and
informal interorganizational coordination and cooperation increases the readiness of
institutions to engage in future collaborative efforts. Research on federal agency
involvement in community-based organizations has found that federal employees
who had been engaged in joint management efforts, like coordinated resource
management, had developed positive relationships with others in the community
and were thus more likely to become engaged in the watershed groups (Thomas
1999).
49


Research has also found where tense relationships exist between federal land
management agencies and communities, collaborative efforts may be hampered
(Cawley 1993; Witt and Aim 1997; Switzer 1997). Antagonistic relationships tend
to arise in places where anti-government sentiment is strong (Witt and Aim 1997),
there are large amounts of federal land, and economies are undergoing transition
(Smutny and Takahashi 1999; Power and Barrett 2001; Lorah and Southwick 2003).
The assumption behind social capital is that where this resource is high, it is more
likely that collaboration will be adopted than in places where it is low.
Together, social capital, organizational resources, and human capital provide
a comprehensive measure of community capacity. In the literature, community
capacity has been shown to be an important asset for communities to improve their
conditions (Chaskin 2001). This study is interested in examining the association
between the extant capacity of a community and BLM field office adoption of
collaboration. Based on the literature reviewed above, it seems that field offices
located in communities where community capacity is high will more likely adopt
collaboration than field offices located in communities where community capacity is
low.
The New West Thesis. The final concept examining community context is
the New West thesis. Grounded in the geographic literature on the changing U.S.
West, the New West thesis implicitly combines aspects of contingency and
community capacity theories to explain adoption of collaboration is likely to occur
50


in response to dynamic change (population growth, economic restructuring), where
community capacity is high.
The New West thesis is based in scholarly discussions and examinations of
the growing divide in the rural western states. Over the last decade, scholars
studying regional economic and population change in the West have identified a
dichotomy in rural areas between what they call the Old and New West (Nelson
1997; Vias 1999; Shumway and Davis 1996). The former is characterized by
extractive activities and stable or declining populations, while the latter by
environmental amenities, service and recreation-based economies, and expanding
populations. The New and Old West are further differentiated along socio-
demographic lines. Recently studies have found that the New West tends to attract
younger, more educated, and more affluent migrants (Rudzitis 1999; Smith and
Krannich 2000; Shumway and Otterstrom 2001). As the literature reviewed for
community capacity described, human capital factors such as income and education
tend to be associated with civic participation. Studies of the New West/Old West
divide suggest that the New West is distinguished from the Old based on population
growth, economic change, and characteristics of recent migrants.
The New West thesis is used to examine whether field offices located in
areas where there is positive population growth as well as increased levels of
education and income, will be more likely to engage in collaboration, then those
located in places where these characteristics are not present.
51


Summary of Contingency and Community Capacity Theories, and the New
West Theories. In this section community context factors associated with
contingency and community capacity theories and the New West thesis have been
reviewed, which emphasize the potential influence that community context may
have on field office adoption of collaboration. The contingency theory suggests that
a dynamic environment, here defined by population growth and economic changes,
may explain adoption of collaboration. Community capacity suggests that extant
community capacity, gauged by human and social capital, and organizational
resources, may influence the turn to collaboration. The final thesis suggests that it is
a combination of factors from the two theories, in particular population growth as
well as human capital that will influence where collaboration is adopted. In the
next, and final section, potential motivating or inhibiting factors at the field office
level are described, which are examined through two behavioral theories.
Field Office Context
Behavioral theories focus on the influence that particular people acting
within or beyond institutional constraints have on field office adoption of
collaboration (Conger 1999; Chrislip and Larson 1994; Luke 1998), rather than
structural causes, promoted by the previously described theories. The assumption of
behavioral theories are that actors within institutions are what influence
organizational change, more so than institutional procedures or community context
52


(Conger 1999; Perrow 1986). There are two behavioral models promoted in the
human relations school. The first, known as the leadership model emphasizes the
importance of individual actors, and assumes that the leadership style exhibited by a
manager influences staff orientation and output (Perrow 1986). In contrast, the
second, referred to as the group relations model, focuses on the impact of group or
organizational culture, and assumes that peoples desires to contribute effectively
and creatively to worthwhile objectives are what motivate their performance and
output (Perrow 1986). Both of these models, which are discussed in greater detail
below, provide possible explanations for why collaboration may be adopted at the
field office level. The first suggests that office leadership sets the agenda for
collaboration and motivates staff, while the second implies that it is the cultural
orientation of staff that may facilitate or inhibit the adoption of collaboration.
Leadership Model. As described above, the leadership model assumes that
managers or directors play an important direction-setting role in their organizations.
Leadership theory has developed an extensive catalogue of leadership styles,
ranging from managerial to transformational. Managerial leadership involves an
exchange between leader and follower (e.g., wage, gift, votes, prestige,
advancement, etc) for an individual following the leaders wishes (Bums 1978 in
Luke 1998). In contrast, transformational leadership draws followers into a higher
purpose by tapping into existing and potential motives and choosing goals that
correspond with those of the community (Luke 1998). In a thorough review of
53


transformational and charismatic leadership theories and empirical work, Conger
(1999, 156) found that these styles of leadership adhere to the following attributes:
visionary, inspirational, role modeling, intellectual stimulation, meaning-making,
appeals to higher-order needs, empowerment, setting high expectations, and
fostering collective identity. While much of the literature covered by Conger (1999)
is specific to leaders in private organizations, public administration literature has
also emphasized a new leadership style for public managers.
The new public administration literature describes public employees as
professional citizens who should see their work as governing with the people rather
than governing over them (Denhardt 2004; Cooper 1984; Reich 1985). In this way,
public administrators are encouraged to move beyond increased responsiveness to
their clients or customers, which assumes passive, unidirectional reaction to
peoples needs and demands, and focus instead on working collaboratively with
citizens as partners, which assumes active, bidirectional acts of participation and
the involvement and unification of focus between parties (Vigoda 2002).
Research on public agency collaborative processes has found that leadership
characteristics can be an important factor for sustaining collaborative processes
initiated between local entities (Chrislip and Larson 1994) for ecosystem
management (Danter et al. 2000) and for USFS collaborative initiatives
(Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000). Furthermore, leadership appears to be important
for establishing and facilitating collaborative processes. Leaders have the ability to
54


take into consideration the broader social context in which a collaborative effort
may occur and to maintain connections with potential collaborative partners
(Sarason and Lorentz 1998). Based on the review of the leadership model, it
appears that the characteristics of field level management may play a role in
motivating or inhibiting the adoption of collaboration.
Group Relations Model. In contrast to leadership theory, which argues that
individuals play an important role in organizational change, the group relations
model suggest that office culture has a greater affect (Perrow 1986). Organizational
culture is defined as an organizations worldview, which may vary from
cosmopolitan and pluralistic to narrow in focus and limited in concerns (Alexander
1995). Research on the USFS has found that the internal culture of an office can
impact the type (e.g., formal or informal, personal or impersonal) and the frequency
of communication staff have with individuals and organizations outside of the office
(Shannon 1990; Yaffee, Wondolleck, and Lippman 1997). Part of what may hinder
federal agency/community interactions has to do with staff skill sets. For example,
many staff working in federal agencies are technical experts selected for their
scientific knowledge; they tend not to be selected for their skills in interpersonal
interaction, problem-solving, and collaborative learning. Research on USFS staff
found that some feel uncomfortable or ill prepared to interact with community
members in a transparent and collaborative environment (Cortner 2001; Yaffee and
Wondolleck 2003).
55


The culture of an organization may also influence their planning and
decision-making focus. For example, an organization may tend to be concerned
solely with fulfilling its mission (e.g., resource use and development), or it may
have a broader sense of its role in the community and work to address a broader set
of community goals (Shannon 1990). Scholars have found, in some federal
agencies, that staff can be wedded to routine and deeply resistant to change which
may suppress a spirit of cooperation and willingness to give up some resources or
power to other agencies or entities (Cortner and Moote 1999; Selin and Chavez
1995). The group relations model suggests that the cultural orientation of staff may
affect a field offices ability to adopt collaboration. Depending on the skills and
interests of staff in a field office, they may be more or less likely to support
collaboration.
Summary of Behavioral Theories. The theories discussed above suggest that
individual actors or staff orientation are important for explaining how activities and
outcomes are achieved, as well as having an influence on organizational change. In
terms of collaboration, this set of behavioral theories suggests that either attributes
of leaders or staff may be responsible for influencing a field offices decision to
adopt collaboration.
56


Research Hypotheses
This theoretical discussion suggests five sets of hypotheses that may account
for BLM field office adoption of collaboration.
Institutional Theory
The first set of hypotheses is associated with the institutional context and
considers factors associated with institutional theory. These hypotheses, unlike the
others, are non-directional because the literature on the influence of administrative
procedures and federal statutes provides a mixed assessment as to the potential
affect that these factors may have on the adoption of collaboration at the field office
level.
HI: BLM administrative procedures are likely to affect field office
adoption of collaboration
H2: Federal laws are likely to affect field office adoption of
collaboration.
Contingency Theory
Hypotheses associated with contingency theory concentrate on the influence
that a turbulent environment, described by changing population and economic
conditions, may have on adoption of collaboration.
BLM field offices are more likely to adopt collaboration when:
H3: they are located in counties experiencing positive population growth.
H4: they are located in counties with diversified economies.
57


Community Capacity Theory
Hypotheses generated from community capacity theory provide the third set
of hypotheses, and consider the affect that human capital, measured by education
and income levels, organizational resources, measured by nonprofit organizations,
and social capital, measured by trust levels, may have on the adoption of
collaboration.
BLM field offices are more likely to adopt collaboration when:
H5: they are located in counties where residential education levels are
high.
H6: they are located in counties where residential income levels are high.
H7: they are located in counties with a large number of nonprofit
organizations.
H8: they are located in counties where high levels trust exist between the
field office and the community.
New West Thesis
The fourth set is associated with the New West thesis, and contains one
hypothesis that combines factors from the contingency (e.g., population growth) and
community capacity (e.g., education and income levels) theories.
H9: BLM field offices are more likely to adopt collaboration when they
reside in the New West.
58


Behavioral Theories
The final set of hypotheses includes those related to behavioral
characteristics of BLM field office managers and staff as derived from theories of
leadership and group relations.
BLM field offices are more likely to adopt collaboration when:
H10: the field manager exhibits a transformational leadership style.
HI 1: staff are supportive of and trained in collaborative processes.
Chapter Summary
This chapter began with a discussion of collaboration in practice and theory.
It then provided a review of past research on collaborative planning in natural
resource management, which showed that most research has focused on examining
key elements of collaborative processes and potential outcomes. Previous research
has largely neglected to examine factors that create conditions that lead to
collaboration being adopted or not adopted. It is to this deficiency that this
dissertation makes a contribution.
Next, the conceptual framework was described, which provides a guide to
the theoretical discussion and also illustrates that a combination of factors, operating
at the institutional, community, and field office levels, are likely to influence
collaborative adoption. To examine the potential factors in greater detail, a
thorough review of existing theoretical explanations and related empirical research
59


was provided. The chapter concluded with a series of research hypotheses. The
assumption under girding this research is that the conditions under which a field
office adopts collaboration or not will be dependent on the interplay of several
factors (Swanson 2001; Koontz 2005; Press 2002). The next chapter describes the
multiple-method research approach employed in this study.
60


CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODS
Introduction
This chapter describes the methods used to collect and analyze data for this
dissertation. The first section provides an overview of the two-stage, multiple-
method research strategy. Next, Stage 1 of the research process is reviewed, which
consisted of a survey administered to BLM staff working in field offices across the
West. Key variables and analysis techniques for Stage 1 are also described.
Following, Stage 2 is discussed, which included conducting interviews and
document review for four case studies in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Case
study selection, variables, and analysis methods are outlined. The chapter concludes
with a discussion of study limitations.
This studys multiple-method approach provides both breadth and depth of
analysis by using both qualitative and quantitative methods. A growing number of
studies utilize both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to foster better
description and stronger insight into cause and effect relationships (Moore and
Koontz 2003; Stecher and Borko 2002). Quantitative approaches are advantageous
because they facilitate the comparison and statistical aggregation of data, leading to
61


a broad, generalizable set of findings. In contrast, qualitative methods generate
richly detailed data, increasing the understanding of specific cases under
examination (Patton 1990). The two-stage research strategy designed for this
dissertation is presented in Figure 3.1.
Figure 3.1. Research Design Diagram
STAGE 1
STAGE 2
Sample Frame
Data Collection
Data Analysis
Findings
62


Stage 1: Survey
Stage 1 involved developing a survey to identify where collaboration is
occurring in the BLM, the types of processes community-based,
intergovernmental or other being initiated, and to explore the various factors that
influence why and where collaboration is being adopted. A detailed discussion of
the data collection, variables, and analysis follows.
Sample and Survey Instrument
There are three organizational levels within the BLM. The national office is
located in Washington D.C., 12 state offices are located in the western U.S., and 146
field offices are distributed within the 12 western states.10 The unit of analysis in
both stages of this study is the BLM field office. Field offices are the operational
level where the planning and management of natural resources occurs (Meridith,
Hatfield, and Harvey 1996). The boundaries for field office resource areas
generally follow county lines. In some cases they encompass only one county, but
in most cases they incorporate several counties within a resource area.
Data collection for this study began in the fall of 2002 with an online survey
sent to BLM managers and planners working in all 146 field offices. Employees at
the field level were targeted for this research because they are most likely to have
first-hand experience with collaboration. Using Dillmans (2000) method for
10 These include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico,
Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
63


Internet surveys, initial contact with field managers was made through a mailed
letter introducing the research project. A week later, field managers were e-mailed
with a link to the online survey. Because direct e-mail contact was not available for
planners, field managers were asked to forward the e-mail to planners working in
their offices. A reminder e-mail was sent two weeks later. In all, 128 BLM staff
responded to the survey from 89 field offices. The response rate, calculated by field
offices was 61 percent.
The survey was administered online through Formsite.com. The Internet
was selected as the medium for the survey for several reasons: 1) all BLM field
office staff have access to the world wide web and utilize e-mail, 2) it is an
economical way to administer a survey, and 3) it reduces the time required for data
entry because survey results can be downloaded directly into Microsoft Excel (Sills
and Song 2002). The survey consisted of structured and open-ended questions, and
covered three broad areas related to collaboration: intergovernmental coordination
and planning, community-based collaborative planning, and benefits and limits of
collaborative planning. The survey is reprinted in Appendix B.
In addition to supplying the sampling frame for Stage 2 of the research
project, the survey provided an inventory of field offices engaged in collaborative
processes and the type of processes being organized. Moreover, findings from the
survey, particularly responses to the open-ended questions, proved helpful in
developing the conceptual framework introduced in Chapter 2.
64


To more fully explore factors that may influence field office adoption or
non-adoption of collaboration, data from the survey was combined with population,
economic, and social data collected from the U.S. Census, the USDA Economic
Research Service (ERS), and the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS).
As was discussed in the previous chapter, it is hypothesized that characteristics of
the places where BLM field offices operate may provide insight into why some field
offices have adopted collaboration and others have not. The results of the
quantitative analysis are discussed in Chapter 4. The variables used are described
below.
Quantitative Variables
Dependent Variable. The dependent variable for analysis of the Stage 1
survey data is field office involvement in collaboration. This variable was attained
from a question on the survey that asked whether a field office was engaged in
community-based collaboration, defined as a cooperative process in which diverse
stakeholders work together to seek solutions to resource management issues
involving public lands (U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2000). Offices involved
in collaboration were coded 1, while those not involved were coded 0.
As was described in Chapter 2, there are numerous factors suggested by
institutional, contingency, community capacity, leadership, and group relations
theories, and the New West thesis that may motivate or inhibit field office adoption
65


of collaboration. Some factors such as those related to contingency theory,
community capacity, and the New West thesis are more suited to quantitative
analysis, while others associated with leadership, group relations, and institutional
theories are more difficult to assess statistically. The former are analyzed in Stage 1
and described below. The latter are addressed in the case studies.
Independent Variables. The independent variables tested in Stage 1 are used
to examine the association between the community context and field office
involvement in collaboration, to see whether there are commonalities among offices
that have and have not adopted collaboration. Data for the variables, collected from
the U.S. Census, the ERS, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS),
are reported at the county level; BLM field office resource areas, however, often
span several counties. To obtain a variable value for the field office area the
following steps were taken. First, using BLM maps, the number of counties per
field office resource area was determined. Second, data were aggregated across all
counties within the resource areas. Third, the values were averaged by the number
of counties in the field office. For variables that could not be averaged, the value
selected for the field office was based on the county with the greatest percentage of
BLM land. Variables associated with contingency theory are described first,
followed by those related to community capacity and the New West thesis.
Contingency Theory. Two variables are used as indicators of a turbulent
environment: population change and dominant economic type (See Table 3.1). As
66


was stated in the hypotheses at the end of Chapter 2, it is proposed that BLM field
offices located in areas of transition, measured by positive population growth (H3)
and diversified economy (H4) will be more likely to adopt collaboration than field
offices located in more stable or declining contexts. The assumption is that in areas
experiencing population and economic growth, greater and more diverse demands
will be placed on public lands. This in turn, will motivate BLM staff to engage the
communities of interest in more collaborative decision-making."
Population change measures the percentage change in population from 1990
to 2000 provided by the U.S. Census. Counties were categorized as either having
experienced positive population growth or having experienced no growth or
negative growth between 1990 and 2000.
Table 3.1. Variables Testing Contingency Theory
Theory Variables Coding
0 1
Contingency TURBULENT ENVIRONMENT FACTORS
% Pop. Change (1990-2000) No/Negative Positive
Dominant Economic Sector Traditional Diversified
Economic type, developed by the ERS, groups counties into six categories
by economic characteristics. For example, a county defined as mining-dependent
had 15 percent or more of average annual labor and proprietors earnings derived 11
11 Declining areas, while it can be argued that they also represent dynamic environments, are losing
population. As a result, there are fewer rather than more people competing to use public lands.
Smaller numbers of people living near public lands may also results in less impact to the land as
well.
67


from mining between 1998 and 2000. A county categorized as diversified had 45
percent or more of average annual labor and proprietors earnings derived from
services during the same time frame. The dichotomous variable was created by
collapsing the six categories into two as previous studies have done (McBeth and
Bennett 1998). Counties where farming, mining, manufacturing, or government
sectors are dominant were categorized as traditional, while counties with services
or non-specified economies were classified as diversified.
Together, population growth and economic type are employed to test the
contingency theory that the adoption of collaboration in BLM field offices is
associated with a turbulent environment. The following discussion reviews the
variables used for measuring community capacity.
Community Capacity Theory. Several variables are used to assess
community capacity. As noted in the theory chapter, community capacity is
conceptualized in terms of individual and communal components. The individual
level component is measured by human capital, the communal component by
organizational resources and social capital. For Stage 1, the human capital and
organizational resources are considered. The social capital indicators of community
capacity are discussed later in Stage 2 of the study. 12
12 McBeth and Bennett (1998) created a dummy variable for economic type, dependent/non-
dependent, in order to differentiate between counties dependent on traditional economic sectors
versus those that have balanced or post-industrial economies.
68


To assess individual level capacity, the human capital variables education
and income levels are used. The organizational resources variable, operationalized
by the number of nonprofit groups operating in a field office resource area, is used
to examine the communal level of community capacity. The hypotheses in Chapter
2 stated that BLM field offices located in areas with high community capacity,
measured by high levels of education (H5) and income (H6) and an active nonprofit
community (H7), will be more likely to adopt collaboration than field offices where
these variables are not present. The variables, which are listed in Table 3.2, are
described in greater detail below.
Table 3.2. Variables Testing Community Capacity
Theory Variables Coding
0 1
Community Capacity HUMAN CAPITAL FACTORS
Education Level (college degree) Affluence (median HH income) low (< 30%) less (< $35,734) high (>31%) more (> $35,735)
ORGANIZATIONAL RESOURCES
Environmental Nonprofit Organizations low (<12) high (>13)
Education level measures the percentage of people with a college education,
as reported by the U.S. Census. The division between low and high levels of
education is 30 percent. Counties where 30 percent or fewer of the population has a
college degree were considered to have low levels of education. Counties where
31 percent or more of the residents have a college degree were deemed to have
high levels. This cutoff was based on a review of the frequency distribution,
69


which showed that approximately half of the counties had low levels of education
and the other half had high levels.
Median household income was obtained from the U.S. Census, and provides
a measure of community affluence. Communities were categorized less affluent
if the median household income was lower than or equal to $35,734 and more
affluent if household incomes was $35,735 or above. The cutoff was based on the
median value of household income for the counties where field offices that
responded to the survey reside.13
Organizational resources is measured using the number of nonprofit groups
operating in a community. The presence of environmental groups within the
community is used, rather than basing this variable on all non-profits. This is
because previous research has found that these groups tend to be heavily involved in
political and community participation (Stolle and Rochon 2001), they tend to focus
on public education, and are often active in federal agency planning processes
(Arnold and Long 1993). Data about environmental nonprofit organizations was
obtained from the NCCS. Counties where there are 12 or fewer environmental
organizations were considered to have low organizational resources. Those that
have 13 or more groups were deemed to have high organizational resources. The
division at a dozen was based on a review of the frequency distribution, which
13 An initial cutoff was made at $43,000, based on the average 2002 median household income level
for the 11 western states; however, this cutoff point was biased by outlier states that had higher
incomes but fewer field offices.
70


showed that half of the counties had fewer than 12 environmental nonprofits and the
other half had more.
New West Thesis. The New West thesis is tested using three variables:
population growth from contingency theory, and education and income from
community capacity. The selection of these variables as measures for the New West
is based on research that has found that population growth (Shumway and
Otterstrom 2001), and demographic characteristics (Smith and Krannich 2000;
Rudzitis 1999) are key aspects of New West communities that set them apart from
Old West counties.
Stage 1 Data Analysis
The Pearson chi-square statistic was used to analyze the association of the
above variables with field office adoption of collaboration. The test is a practical
method of analysis when both the dependent and independent variables are
dichotomous (Hoyle 1999). Both variable sets were coded into dichotomous
categories because of the relatively small sample size of 89 cases. When ordinal
variables were tested for the dependent (e.g., no, weak, strong collaboration) or any
of the independent variables (e.g., no, low, high population growth), cell counts did
not reach the expected value, leaving many with zero cases. This proved
problematic, suggesting that dichotomization was the best solution, and Pearson chi-
square the best analysis method.
71


The quantitative analysis is useful for testing the contingency and
community capacity theories to identify factors associated with the community
context that may suggest why some field offices adopt collaboration and others do
not. To test the New West thesis, the population variable from the contingency
theory will be used as a control in order to assess the unique affects of population
change and the human capital aspects of community capacity on adoption of
collaboration.
The quantitative analysis is useful for presenting a generalized picture of the
importance of community context associated with field office adoption of
collaborative processes. However, the quantitative analysis is limited in that it does
not adequately address the breadth of potential factors that may influence adoption
(Miles and Huberman 1994). In particular, it does not take into account the
influence that institutional factors or individual actors might have on the decision to
adopt collaboration. The importance of these additional factors became evident
after reviewing the open-ended comments from the survey. Rather than prepare an
entirely new survey, issues relevant to these issues were integrated into the case
study interview questions.
Stage 2: Case Studies
The case-oriented approach complements the survey method by verifying
the broad-based patterns found in the quantitative analysis and contextualizing
72


findings through identification of specific, concrete, historically-grounded
patterns of factors that are unique to particular places (Miles and Huberman 1994,
174). For this stage, four cases were selected based on adoption of collaboration, to
compare factors that motivate or inhibit collaborative adoption. By relying on
several cases, this study increases the likelihood of findings patterns or
configurations of agreement among the different cases on key motivating and
inhibiting factors. This increases the validity of the findings and affords the
opportunity for limited generalizing. In this section, the case selection process is
described, followed by a description of data collection methods, definition of
variables, and review of analysis procedures.
Case Study Selection
Case selection for Stage 2 was made based on a theoretical replication
strategy, which predicts contrasting results for predictable reasons rather than a
literal replication, which predicts similar results (Yin 2003). With the replication
strategy, a number of cases are selected to examine conditions under which a
particular phenomenon is likely to be found as well as the conditions when it is not
likely to be found (Yin 2003, 47-48). The sample frame for the case studies
consisted of the field offices that had responded to the survey in Stage 1. From the
population of 89 field offices, four field offices were selected based on two criteria:
adoption or non-adoption of collaboration and location in the New or Old West. For
73


the two field offices using collaboration, additional criteria were used to select the
cases. These included that the process was community-based as opposed to
intergovernmental, initiated by the field office rather than another entity, and at least
three years old at the time of the study. The survey used in Stage 1 defined a
community-based collaborative group as a watershed council, dialogue group, or
partnership that focuses on more than one problem or issue and has open
membership.
Prior to selecting the four cases, several field offices were removed,
reducing the sample frame from 89 to 20. First, 39 field offices were dropped from
the sample frame for one of the following reasons: 1) their decision-making process
was not community-based, but defined as either intergovernmental, mediated
negotiation, or coordinated resource management, 2) the field office had not
initiated the collaborative process, 3) the process was too young, having been started
sometime between 2001 and 2004, 4) surveys were incomplete because respondents
were unsure whether they were engaged in a collaborative process, 5) conflicting
information was provided by two or more people from the same field office, or 6)
the survey respondents asked not to be included in the second stage of the research
project.
A decision was also made to not include the states of Alaska, Washington,
Oregon, and Idaho, which resulted in the removal of 30 additional field offices from
the sample frame. The field offices in Alaska that responded to the survey in Stage
74


1 were dropped because the planning and management situation in the state, which
is distinct from the other 11 western states, seems to preclude much cooperative
work. For example, survey respondents mentioned that it is difficult to work
collaboratively in Alaska, partly because there are limited or no local governments
in and around the vast tracts of public lands in the state, and there are few local
participants willing or able to work with the agency long term.
All field offices in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho were also dropped for
reasons different than those outlined for the Alaska field offices. First, all three
states have retained the old district arrangement, making it difficult to compare
collaborative experiences between offices working under the new two-tiered state
office/field office structure with those operating in the former three-tiered structure
(state office/district office/resource area office). Since the majority of BLM offices
are working under the new system, it seemed important to understand factors that
contribute to adoption or non-adoption of community-based collaboration in these
settings. Washington field offices were further justified in being dropped because
they have such small land holdings in the state. The acreage of BLM land is so
limited that two district offices are able to manage it and, as the respondents to the
survey explained, there is little emphasis on collaboration. Oregon is additionally
justified given the state governments focus on watersheds. Compared to other
western states, there is significant emphasis on and support for working
cooperatively across agencies in Oregon at the watershed level (Oregon Plan 1997).
75


As a result of these specific issues associated with Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and
Alaska, making comparisons with field offices in other states would be difficult.
Thus field offices in these states were dropped from the sample frame.
After removing field offices for the reasons listed above, the final list from
which the four case studies were selected was 20. As was mentioned earlier, the
four cases were selected based on whether or not they used community-based
collaboration and their location in the New or Old West. Out of 20 field offices, 13
used some form of community-based collaboration and seven did not. These two
criteria and the final selection of the four cases are described further below.
The decision to choose field offices by location in the New and Old West is
based on recent scholarship on the American West that has highlighted a discemable
divide among counties, based on factors ranging from in-migration to economic
change (Baden 1997; Riebsame and Robb 1997; Hays 1991). Using cluster analysis
to classify rural western counties, Shumway and Otterstrom (2001) found that New
West counties share several characteristics that separate them from the Old. These
include: service and consumption-based economies, recreation and retirement
destinations, desirable natural amenities (e.g., climate, topography, and water), a
high percentage of federal lands, and higher levels of education and income.
The New West/Old West distinction was controlled for in case selections to
test the predictive power of institutional, community capacity, leadership, and group
76


relations theories.14 Consistent with Shumway and Otterstrom (2001), all counties
that did not fall into their New West category were classified as Old West. Field
office locations are shown in Table 3.3 below.
The field offices were also selected based on their adoption of collaboration.
The extent to which field offices have adopted collaboration was measured with
four questions from the Stage 1 survey. The variables considered were: 1) process
inclusiveness, which was determined by adding up the number of different
groups/individuals involved in the process out of 15 types;15 2) process openness,
which refers to how people participated in the process voluntarily, by assignment,
or through election; 3) meeting frequency, which was measured from weekly to
annually; and 4) number of collaborative processes the office was involved in. The
first three variables, inclusive process, process openness, and meeting
frequency set collaborative processes apart from other types of planning processes
(Margerum 2002; Innes and Booher 1999; Gray 1989). In traditional planning
processes, involvement is much more limited, with public meetings being scheduled
according to the planning schedule (e.g., scoping, draft review), and in some cases,
meetings are limited to sanctioned cooperators such as other government agencies
(U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2005). The final variable, number of
14 In the case studies, the communal component of community capacity was considered, which is
social capital, measured by levels of trust existing between the agency and community.
15 15 Stakeholder Types: Federal Agency, Native American Tribe, State Agency, Elected Official,
Local Agency, Special District, Resource Extraction Industry, Motorized Recreation, Non-motorized
Recreation, Environmental Group, Agricultural Individual, Private Property Rights, Academic,
Journalist, General Public.
77


collaborative processes, was selected as an indicator of a culture of collaboration in
the field office. It is assumed that the more collaborative processes an office is
engaged in, the more likely it is that the office sees collaboration as a useful way to
carry out its planning and management responsibilities.
An index was created from these variables. The top part of Table 3.3 shows
the scores for the 13 collaborating field offices, which range from a high of 8 to a
low of 4. The field offices with the highest score, located in the New and Old West,
were selected for the case studies, which are the field offices in Grand Junction,
Colorado, (New West), and Ely, Nevada, (Old West).
Table 3.3. Field Office Collaboration Scores
Locale Field Office Variables Score
#of Collab. Processes Process Openness Process Inclusion (out of 15) Meeting Frequency
Low (<2) High (>2) Other Volun Low (<7) High (>7) Low (<2/yr) High (<2/yr)
New West Grand Junction, CO 2 2 2 2 8
Salt Lake City, UT 2 2 2 2 8
Arizona Strip, AZ 1 2 2 2 7
Royal Gorge, CO 1 2 2 2 7
Carson City, NV 1 2 2 1 6
Gunnison, CO 1 2 2 1 6
Taos, NM 2 1 2 1 6
Pinedale, CO 1 1 2 1 5
Old West Ely, NV 2 2 2 2 8
Albuquerque, NM 1 1 2 1 5
Lewiston, MT 2 1 1 1 5
Glasgow, MT 1 1 1 1 4
Rock Springs, WY 1 1 1 1 4
New West Carlsbad, NM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Missoula, MT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Old West Cody, WY 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Del Norte, CO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dillon, MT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Little Snake, CO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Richfield, UT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
78


For the two cases not involved in collaboration, the Carlsbad, New Mexico,
(New West) and Little Snake (Craig), Colorado, (Old West) field offices were
selected. In both cases, respondents to the Stage 1 survey provided candid remarks
about the challenges their offices faced in terms of adopting collaboration.
Furthermore, online documents and information about other parties involved in
traditional land use planning processes with these field offices was readily available,
making it possible to collect information about them for interviewing purposes.
Data Collection Procedures
Data collection consisted of document review and interviews with BLM staff
and local constituents to gather first-hand information about the factors that had
either motivated or inhibited the four offices to adopt a collaborative approach to
public lands planning. Each of the data collection procedures is described in greater
detail below.
Document Review. Several types of documents were examined to become
familiar with the activities and issues facing each field office prior to the visits.
These included agency publications and memos, newspapers and environmental
group websites. All BLM documents were available online, making this data
collection effort relatively simple. Online archives from local and regional
newspapers were searched for articles on each field office and on the collaborative
groups associated with different office, where applicable (e.g., the Eastern Nevada
79


Landscape Coalition in Ely, Nevada). Furthermore, the websites of local, regional,
and national environmental groups were reviewed for information pertinent to the
field office areas that may have been missed in BLM documentation and the news
media. Appendix C lists the various newspapers and environmental groups.
Additional documentation was also collected during the site visits from both BLM
and non-BLM participants. These documents were particularly useful for providing
background information about each case however the significant source of data
came from in-person interviews.
Field Interviews. Interviews were conducted with two to three field office
staff, in particular, the field manager and planning and environmental coordinator.
Also, between four and seven outside interests were interviewed who represented
industry, the environment, local government, or ranching and who had participated
in field office planning activities within each field office. Outside interests were
included to ensure a well-rounded assessment of the factors that motivated or
hindered field office adoption of collaboration and to increase the validity of the
data by relying on more than one perspective (e.g., BLM) (Leach 2002). In all, 29
interviews were conducted in the four field offices. Table 3.4 shows the number of
informants per site and their affiliation.
80


Table 3.4. Affiliation of Informants
Field Office BLM" Local Govern. Oil & Gas Industry Environ- ment Rec- reation Edu- cation Case Totals
Ely 3 - 2 - 1 7
Grand Junction 2 1 1 1 1 1 7
Carlsbad 2 2b 1 1 - - 6
Little Snake 2 1 b 1 3 1 1 9
Grand Total 29
a. BLM field office interviews were conducted with the field manager and planning and environmental coordinator,
except in Carlsbad because the field manager position was unoccupied. In that case, I interviewed the PEC and a range
specialist.
b. These interviewees were both a county commissioner and a rancher.
The field office visits occurred during a four-week period between
November 15 and December 9, 2004. Arrangements for face-to-face interviews
were made prior to the site visits. The selection of BLM staff was fairly
uncomplicated. In each case, either the name of the field manager or the planning
coordinator was known from the survey, or was readily available from the field
office website. Each BLM staff person was contacted by phone and an interview
time was scheduled.
Finding non-BLM interviewees for this study posed a greater challenge than
the BLM staff selection process. The easiest way to obtain interviewees would have
been to use a snowball sampling technique, relying on BLM staff members to
supply names, as other studies have done (Imperial 2005). However, a weakness
with this approach is that staff might recommend people who would be supportive
of the offices efforts. To avoid this dilemma, the non-BLM participants were
81


selected in two ways, both of which relied on searching BLM planning documents
posted on the field office websites.16 Local government representatives were
selected if they had participated in a BLM planning process as a cooperating
agency. For other participants, a list of names for individuals and organizations was
gathered from BLM documents. The names were then entered into the Google
search engine (www.google.com). People or groups were selected for interviews
based on the frequency with which their names came up in connection with field
office business and with respect to the interest they represented (e.g., industry,
environment). Once a list of names and contact information was compiled, the
individuals were contacted to set up an interview.
All interviews, with the exception of one that was conducted over the phone,
took place in person either at the informants place of employment or in a restaurant
and were recorded with a digital voice recorder. To ensure honest and accurate
responses from participants, they were advised that their names would be withheld
from research publications unless they consented otherwise. Most BLM staff and
many stakeholders gave their consent. However, for all stakeholders and BLM
staff, aside from the field managers, their identifications have been generalized to
16 The method of relying on BLM websites for finding interviewees and agency documents would
not have been possible after May 2005 because BLM websites were taken offline in connection with
the Cobell vs. Norton lawsuit. The suit charges the DOI, of which the BLM is a part, for
mismanagement of the Indian Trust Fund. As of September 2005, only the national BLM website
was operating; state and field office websites will remain offline until Internet security issues can be
resolved for these levels, which could take many months.
82


minimize potential discomfort that might arise for respondents at a later date. The
semi-structured interviews lasted between 35 and 90 minutes.
A semi-structured interview guide was developed based on findings from the
survey and from the literature. The semi-structured format is useful because it
ensures a systematic ordering of the interviews, which improves comparability
between respondents. However, it is flexible enough to allow for probing subjects
beyond their answers for clarification or more detailed information than a
standardized interview questionnaire (Berg 1998).
The interview guide, which asked respondents a series of questions related to
each field offices experiences with collaboration, followed a conventional strategy
for semi-structured interviews (Gillham 2000; Robson 1993; Leech 2002).17 The
interview questions are reprinted in Appendix C.
The interview started with a couple of non-threatening questions, which
asked participants about their background (e.g., their educational training and length
of employment with the agency or entity). The questions then moved into the topic
of collaboration, beginning with when you hear the term community-based
collaborative planning, what does it mean to you? Respondents were asked to
compare collaboration to traditional planning and to describe their experiences with
a collaborative process (e.g., who initiated it, the goals, and stakeholder
involvement). Next, they were asked about the impetus for their office to adopt a
17 The interview guide was piloted with three BLM staff and two non-BLM participants and revised
prior to going into the field.
83


collaborative approach to planning, or for the factors that had inhibited their office
from adopting collaboration. From here, the questions moved into specific topics
related to the research objective, which was to identify specific factors that may
have motivated or inhibited their collaborative efforts. The questions were
organized by scale, with several addressing issues related to the agency (e.g.,
policies, structure) and other governmental factors (e.g., laws, politics), a number
considering issues related to the community context, and then a few on the influence
of particular people or groups. The interview concluded by asking respondents to
summarize which three factors they believed motivated the office or inhibited it
from turning to collaboration.
It took a month and a half to transcribe the interviews. Transcripts and field
notes provided the primary data set for the case study analysis. The additional
documentary information previously described offered complementary evidence and
background information to the data obtained through the interviews. In the next
section, the variables used in the Stage 2 analysis are described, followed by the
data analysis procedures.
Quantitative Variables
Dependent Variable. The dependent variable for the case studies is the same
as the dependent variable in Stage 1, namely field office involvement in
collaboration. Two field offices using collaboration and two field offices not
84


involved in collaboration were selected, as described in the case study sampling
section above.
Chapter 2 discussed numerous factors associated with institutional,
contingency, community capacity, leadership, groups relations theories, and the
New West thesis that may motivate or inhibit field office adoption of collaboration.
Several variables related to contingency theory, community capacity, and the New
West thesis were described in the previous section, and are analyzed with the data
collected from the Stage 1 survey. Factors associated with the institutional,
leadership, and group relations theories, and the social capital aspect of community
capacity, not as readily measured quantitatively, are addressed with the case study
data.
Independent Variables. Unlike the variables described in Stage 1, which
were explicitly defined for use in the quantitative analysis, the independent variables
used in Stage 2 are more thematic, representing themes that informants may
describe as influencing collaboration. The independent variables were derived from
the literature as well as from respondent answers to open-ended questions on the
Stage 1 survey. The thematic variables used in Stage 2 are described below.
Institutional Theory. The two key variables used as indicators of
institutional influence on adoption of collaboration are administrative procedures
and federal statutes. As was stated in the hypotheses at the end of Chapter 2, it is
proposed that administrative procedures (HI) and federal statutes (H2) are likely to
85


affect BLM field office adoption of collaboration. These hypotheses are non-
directional because previous research on the influence that institutional factors have
on collaboration has been mixed (Cortner and Moote 1999; Manring 1998;
Wondolleck and Ryan 1999).
The administrative procedures variable is one measure for institutional
influence. Administrative procedures are defined as policies or standards that
impact staff actions. Examples of administrative procedures include the BLM Land
Use Planning Handbook (2005), budgets, contracting and procurements procedures,
agency-imposed time schedules (e.g., time-sensitive plans), decision-making
requirements (e.g., final decisions made by the BLM national offices), and
personnel reward systems to name a few.
The federal statutes variable is defined as laws passed by Congress. Of
particular interest is the differential weight that individual laws have on field
offices. Some laws, such as NEPA, FLPMA, and FACA influence field offices to
the same degree. They are all required to adhere to the requirements of these laws.
Whereas other laws, such as the endangered species act or those associated with oil
and gas exploration and recovery are only applicable to field offices that have to
manage for those resource issues.
Community Capacity Theory. Several variables are used to assess
community capacity. Human capital (measured by education and income), and
organizational resources (measured by number of environmental nonprofits) were
86