ABSTRACT

The diffusion and availability of environmental informa-tion, growing emphasis on deliberative democracy, and the place-based nature of many environmental problems that resist command-and-control strategies have made collaborative environmental management an increasingly popular means for addressing environmental problems. Although the character of collaborative environmental management may change as new environmental issues emerge and as governmental and nongovernmental actors learn from their experiences, it is a trend that is unlikely to wane in the near future. Many environmental and natural resource activities, such as ecosystem management, endangered species protection, land-use planning, water quality improvement, and forest management, involve multiple participants interacting across environmental media. Whether a collaboration is led by a governmental agency, nongovernmental organization, or individual citizen, governmental actors in many settings have demonstrated a willingness to forge partnerships with a diverse spectrum of other governmental and nongovernmental actors as a means to address such challenges.