American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
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South Nation River Conservation Authority: What has 57 years of Watershed Management and Multi-Million Dollar Watershed Plans Taught Us?
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Paper number 042175, 2004 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.16399) @2004
The South Nation River Conservation Authority (SNRCA) completed two watershed plans: one
in 1948, the other in 1983. Using these Plans and the records of SNRCA, there are seven
lessons for watershed planning.
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Full public participation, including citizen control over processes and establishing watersheds as
a sense of "place," is the first lesson. Second is better communications and use of words and
ideas in watershed plans that are meaningful to the watershed residents. The third lesson
requires greater attention to implementation, since a plan will have little value if its
recommendations are not implemented. Lesson four identifies the need for statutory support for
watershed planning and for recognizing the watershed as an entity, and lesson five shows that
government funding, while important, is not necessary. Lesson six stresses that watershed
plans follow the normal process with respect to public policy models, and the final lesson
illustrates that success of watershed plans must be measured in decades, not years.