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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

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.

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.

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