Evaluation of the intergovernmental relationships between national and state wetland regulatory agencies within wetland regulatory units

by Taylor, Ryan W

Abstract (Summary)
Since the 1890s, American federalism has been perceived as being unique in the

world by having two different levels of government operating within the same

jurisdiction without influencing one another. Modern scholars call into question the

validity of this basic assumption, but few have published quantitative evidence to

reject its application. Furthermore, even some of these theorists continue to suggest

that national government programs established under the interstate commerce clause

may resist influence from state counterparts.

This study tests this suggestion by examining how selected outcomes of the national

wetland regulatory program may be influenced by similar statute-based state programs.

In the process, three other voids in the wetland management literature are filled. First,

wetland regulatory units are described for the first time as consequential components

of the regulatory landscape. Second, relationships between the outcomes of the

national wetland regulatory program and local socioeconomic and landscape

conditions such as population size and growth rates, income, wetland abundance, and

program funding levels are quantified. Finally, a model describing the amount of

wetland fill permitted and the number of permits issued by the national government is

constructed from these relationships. The accomplishment of these tasks produces

new evaluative tools that may be used by state and national government wetland

managers to more efficiently and effectively implement their programs.

The results reveal that some, but not all measures of the national wetland regulatory

program's outcomes are influenced by state programs. There is no evidence that the

amount of wetland fill permitted by the national government differs measurably in

accordance with the presence of any type of active state wetland regulatory program.

There is, however, strong evidence that the number of permits issued is directly related

to the presence of statute-based state programs. Furthermore, these programs exhibit

the same relationship to the national program as do state programs that are empowered

solely through federal authorizations.

Therefore, when it comes to wetland regulation, the traditional assumption of

American federalism is inadequate. The United States does have two different levels

of government operating within the same jurisdictions, however, their programs

exhibit measurable influence upon one another.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Smith, Courtland L.; Steel, Brent; Good, Jim; Lach, Denise; Stevens, Don

School:Oregon State University

School Location:USA - Oregon

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:wetland management united states wetlands government policy federal


Date of Publication:06/12/2006

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