Protected Areas and Intergovernmental Cooperation in the St. Elias Region
Posted: 14 Apr 2003
Ecosystem-based management is now recognized as the central approach in protected area planning and management. However, objective analyses and assessments of the types of interagency partnerships and collaborative relationships necessary for successful implementation of such an approach are limited. This article provides a detailed description and analysis of cooperation occurring between government agencies in the St. Elias region of Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia. Cooperation in the region is characterized using a relative scale based on formality and complexity. Generally, complex interagency cooperation is accompanied by formal agreements while informal agreements are most often used in situations with few actors or less pressing management issues. Despite having similar management goals and objectives based on preservation, as well as sharing a collective designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cooperation and coordination of activities between the four primary protected areas in the region are largely limited to informal communication - particularly across the international border. Factors that have acted to limit cooperation are examined and potential approaches for removing these barriers and expanding collaborative activities are discussed.
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