ERIC Number: ED428296
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Identifying Factors Leading to Effective Local Conservation Commissions. An Investigation in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Negra, Christine; Frey, Lois M.
A study investigated the nature and function of 206 New Hampshire and 74 Vermont conservation commissions empowered to protect natural resources. Qualitative and quantitative research methods gathered data from a small number of commissioners and identified common patterns, then tested their prevalence through a survey of all commissions. Patterns observed in interviews were as follows: commissioners' roles were conservation of land and watchdog for environmental violations; some town boards did not support commissions; meetings were informal or lacked focus or structure; communication with the community was difficult; obstacles were public resistance, insufficient time and money to accomplish projects, and frustration with the pace of progress; some commissioners were concerned about maintaining membership levels; motivation for membership included love of the outdoors and hope to reverse or prevent environmental degradation; and persistence and acceptance of the slow pace of conservation work were important. The survey found commissions were very concerned with degradation of water resources; the most prevalent obstacle was recruitment of new members; and relatively few commissions reported unsuccessful experiences with the 29 strategies listed. Findings were synthesized and suggestions made for commissions to improve their effectiveness in identifying and achieving conservation goals and for extension and other entities to assist them. (Appendixes contain 18 references, instruments, and descriptions of potential partners for outreach.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Agencies, Agency Role, Air Pollution, Community Action, Community Cooperation, Community Involvement, Community Organizations, Conservation Education, Conservation (Environment), Educational Needs, Natural Resources, Physical Environment, State Programs, Statewide Planning, Sustainable Development, Water Pollution, Water Resources
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, University Park, PA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Hampshire; Vermont