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11 Community Environmental Policy Capacity and Effective Environmental Protection Daniel Press and Alan Balch Many of our current public policy debates are variations on these age-old ques- tions: Is it better to regulate . . . through mandatory standards or through volun- tary guidelines and individual discretion? Should social welfare programs be centralized, with uniform standards applying to all the states, or would decen- tralization allow local officials to apply their knowledge of local circumstances in ways that would make for better policy? (Stone, 1997:238) For the past 30 years, federally based command-and-control regulation and, to a lesser degree, market-based incentive approaches have been the pri- mary focus of U.S. environmental policy. Extensive experience with, and analyses of, such efforts reveal strengths and weaknesses in both. Scholars and policy analysts are giving new attention to different policy paths such as the Revolution of authority and/or responsibility from federal and state authorities to local communities (Saber et al., 2000; Vig and Kraft, 2000~. The political result is a growing effort to shift away from a federal command-and-control paradigm toward more community-specific approaches that are based on local decision making and that create opportunities for collaboration among agencies, local governments, industry, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and citizens. In this chapter, we focus on such community-based environmental protec- tion measures, beginning with some working definitions, then moving on to a framework for understanding the factors in and around a community that shape both its responses to environmental problems and the effectiveness of those responses. We illustrate this framework with research on local open space pres- ervation and recycling activity in California. 183
184 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION WHAT ARE COMMUNITY-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES? "Community" includes actors inside and outside of local government, and thereby encompasses private citizens and companies, NGOs, and local govern- ment agencies. We use the term "community-based" to focus on local environ- mental protection activities and decisions that are driven primarily by local ac- tors and institutions, although they may be reacting to or receiving support from wider regional, state, provincial, federal, or even international spheres. In some cases, the community (or some part thereof) decides to take up an issue voluntar- ily and determines what action, if any, to take. For example, no state or federal mandate requires local California communities to purchase open space, although a significant amount of local open space is purchased via community action. In other cases, local protection efforts may respond to an external governing body telling the community that it must act; however, the consequent actions can be considered locally based only if the community is given discretion to determine what type of action to take. In California, for example, the state required local jurisdictions to reduce solid waste disposal by 50 percent, but gave localities significant latitude to determine how to achieve those reductions. To summarize, community-based efforts arise when communities are pro- vided the option or take the initiative to fashion place-specific remedies to problems. What forms might such remedies take? Localities may take steps that are command-and-control oriented. However, many community-based attempts to address environmental issues are largely nonregulatory, often relying on ex- tensive voluntarism. Most community-based voluntary environmental measures can be grouped into one of four categories: (1) information gathering, (2) resource restoration or protection, (3) persuasion/endorsement, and (4) personal or lifestyle changes. Information activities span a range from applied research to monitoring and data collection on environmental health and quality (including biotic and abiotic as- sessments). Resource restoration and protection activities range from the fee- simple purchase of open space lands to one-time beach, creek, or park cleanups to long-term, multiyear revegetation and invasive exotic species removals. Persuasion and endorsement efforts include political lobbying, campaigning or canvassing on local issues, and brokering collaborations or consensus on con- troversial environmental issues that arise between local actors. Personal and/or lifestyle changes encompass a variety of efforts such as water conservation, carpooling, recycling, comporting, and energy conservation that require alter- ations in behavior and habits. Of course, any of these four actions can be pro- moted at the local level by local, state, provincial, and federal governments, and they may even be required rather than voluntary. They become community- based voluntary measures when they are discretionary in nature and the impetus for such action comes primarily from within the community
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH TABLE 11-1 Examples of Community-Based Voluntary Activities for Environmental Protection 185 Community Action Program Details and Foci Examples Restoration and Restoration of local areas Save the Bay's Habitat protection important for wildlife habitat and Restoration Program works to natural systems restore critical Narragansett Bay habitats, beach vegetation (Save the Bay, 2002) Information gathering Monitoring of natural systems or Sacramento Tree Foundation agency processes to track change monitors the spread of Dutch or flag problems Elm disease (Sacramento Tree Foundation, 2002) Persuasion/ Door-to-door advocacy on Sonoma County Conservation endorsement environmental issues and Action: door-to-door candidates; phone banks grassroots organizing to mobilize letters to elected officials and familiarize voters with candidates' voting records (Sonoma County Conservation Action, (2002) Lifestyle changes Promotion of environmentally Citizens in Los Angeles can beneficial behaviors and actions attend free "Smart Gardening Classes" offered by the city to promote backyard composting (City of Los Angeles, 2002) The types of community-based groups that may promote these activities are as varied as the activities themselves. These may include local government agencies, environmental groups, schools, neighborhood associations, and local businesses. Table 11-1 provides examples of both voluntary activities and the local groups supporting them. Most community-based groups actually engage in more than one of the activity types listed in Table 11-1. Some groups, especially those organized to protect large communities or regions, may engage in most or even all of the activities, or form a coalition of groups that combine tasks. For example, the Lake Michigan Federation "works to restore fish and wildlife habitat, conserve land and water, and eliminate tonics in the watershed of America's largest lake. We achieve these through education, research, law, science, economics, and strategic partnerships" (Lake Michigan Federation, 2002~. Even small local groups who focus primarily on one task, such as water
186 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION quality monitoring, sometimes engage in other related tasks, as data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Water suggest. This office collects data on volunteers who monitor water quality throughout the country. Of the 778 volunteer organizations the EPA surveyed, nearly a third engaged in just one activity (e.g., biological water quality monitoring or physi- cal-chemical analysis) (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000~. Only half of these groups added two or more major activities to their responsibilities (such as debris cleanup and restoration, storm-drain stenciling, and land use surveys).) States varied with respect to how many volunteer watershed groups were active within their borders (from 1 to 58 groups per state). Moreover, groups varied in the number of activities they assumed beyond their primary water quality assessment tasks (from no additional tasks to five). We divided the 50 states into those with fewer than 11 groups statewide ("Low Group States") and those with more ("High Group States"~. Volunteer organizations in Low Group States were, on average, no more likely to take on additional activities than organizations in High Group States (t = 1.14, p < 0.05, df = 28~. At this stage in the development of water quality NGOs, it is thus unlikely that the relative absence of volunteer groups spurs existing groups to take on a wider range of activities. POLICY CAPACITY FOR COMMUNITY-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES One way to study the transformation from past practices to more sustain- able, scientific, ecosystem-based management practices is to compare systemati- cally the communities that are implementing sustainable land use with those that are not and try to isolate the key variables that account for the differences (Mazmanian and Kraft, 1999:297~. Do community-based efforts, especially those that are voluntary, result in positive environmental outcomes? What explains the variations in community response and performance on key environmental issues across California? We will offer insights into these questions through examples and results from sepa- rate studies on open space preservation and solid waste diversion in California, both of which are largely grounded in community-based efforts. Despite a wealth of efforts across the state, some cities and counties have been significantly more successful in these areas than others. To guide research into the conditions shaping community willingness and ability to implement effective environmental measures on a local level, we rely on a policy capacity model (Press, 1998; Boyne, 1985; Ringquist, 1993~. A successful policy capacity model for explanatory and heuristic purposes should identify all the theoretically plausible independent variables, then explain the mechanisms by which each variable potentially could affect environmental out- comes. The model we present is based on the oft-repeated observation that some
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH 187 communities are more capable of mounting environmental protection activities than others. In places with more environmental policy success, our model sug- gests a positive feedback loop whereby a community strongly supports certain environmental protection measures, which translates into further support from local leaders and generates the political, economic, and technical resources nec- essary for sustaining and implementing environmental programs. Organized efforts to enact and implement such programs in turn may rely on members of the general community for support, cooperation, and participation. If the com- munity is supportive of environmental protection in the first place, then its mem- bers are likely to respond positively to environmental protection efforts and take voluntary action if called on to facilitate the success of such efforts. We are not suggesting that environmental attitudes automatically translate into certain environmental behaviors in all cases (see Schultz, this volume, Chap- ter 4~. We are suggesting, however, that when a community organization or political entity decides to enact and implement a local environmental program (e.g., establishing a citywide greenbelt), that program is likely to be well re- ceived in communities with relatively high concentrations of environmentally concerned citizens. Indeed, it is probable that the presence of such citizens is part of the reason such action is being taken in the first place (i.e., the actions of elected officials or community organizations are often reflections of popular demand). Moreover, if the effectiveness of such environmental programs hing- es on widespread, voluntary citizen participation (e.g., recycling), then commu- nities with environmental predilections among the general populous are likely to encounter relatively high levels of program participation. Among the many possible mitigating factors in this attitude to action equation is the amount of effort required (Schultz and Oskamp, 1996; McKenzie-Mohr et al., 1995~. Thus, community groups can provide citizens with capacity tools that facilitate the effort required to translate attitudes into action (e.g., providing curbside pickup or circulating a petition). In principle, the easier it is to participate and take action, the more likely it is that people will express their preferences through action (McKenzie-Mohr et al., 1995~. We refer to "environmental policy capacity" as a community's ability to engage in collective action that secures environmental public goods and servic- es. Much like Putnam's (1993) conception of institutional performance, we envision a relatively simple model of policy capacity and performance. The model is integrative, relying on four general components that contribute to a community's environmental problem-solving ability. First, we consider the re- sources and constraints on local policy responses that are (a) internal to the community in question. These consist largely of a locality's sociopolitical, de- mographic, and economic characteristics (e.g., local revenues, demographics, income, political ideology, party identification, development pressure). Second, a community's policy response may be facilitated by or in response to (b) exter- nal factors, such as development pressure in neighboring jurisdictions or the
188 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION nature of state, provincial, or federal mandates and funding. Third, a communi- ty's (c) policy network consists of the political mechanisms by which the exter- nal and internal factors translate into policy mobilization, formulation, and im- plementation regarding a particular issue (Ringquist, 1993~. This category consists of the various public and private institutions and actions that potentially could play a role in crafting and/or implementing the social and political choices made by a community. Finally, the types of (d) policy outputs generated by these three factors will dramatically affect a community's ability to achieve the desired levels of environmental protection. Each of these four components may affect environmental outcomes through a number of venues. Internal influences, for example, may come from the gov- ernment in the form of tax revenues, from civil society in the form of political ideology, from markets in the form of development pressure, or from the envi- ronment in the form of geographic features. Thus, each of the four categories can be divided further into at least two or three subcategories based on the question of who is responsible for the action within that category. Is it the government, in its execution of official duties? Is it civil society, in its pursuit of collective action? Is it the free market, in its pursuit of profits and wages? These four general categories (and their subcategories) combine to determine a com- munity' s capacity to address environmental issues. Table 11-2 provides a break- down of these categories and subcategories in addition to examples of each. How do these four components come together to create a model useful for the study of politics and society? Figure 11-1 presents the four categories and their potential relationships to one another in the context of local policy choices. Because policymaking is an evolving and dynamic process, we explore the role played by each of these factors and how they may combine to determine local environmental policy capacity. Because local policy capacity exists in a particular setting (city, county, region) during a given time period (i.e., a particular decade), it is subject to both (a) internal and (b) external constraints. These internal and external factors not only influence each other (e.g., the state or provincial economy affects the local economy), but they can separately or simultaneously shape the makeup and response of (c) local policy networks, especially by molding or changing the relationship between local desires and local expectations. As an example of the impact of internal factors, consider a wealthy city with a high degree of environmentalism. Local civic environmentalism reflects public expectations concerning the provision of environmental goods. Collective norms strongly influence factors within the policy network, such as the political ideology of elected officials and the focus of local interest groups. In the model of a community with strong environmental policy capacity, the social norm is to expect a high level of envi- ronmentally sound individual behavior and institutional performance. Such a city likely will have in place the elected officials and organized interest groups (i.e., entities found in the policy network) to address environmental issues.
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH TABLE 11-2 Policy Capacity Categories 189 Category Subcategories Examples (a) Internal influences Government Civil society Environmental Market (b) External influences Government Civil society Tax revenues Current regulations Government type and/or size Demographics Political ideology Party identification Environmental values/support/knowledge Civic environmentalism/voluntarism Landscape features Development pressure Taxable sales Employment State/provincial and/or federal grants State/provincial and/or federal mandates State/provincial and/or federal fines State/provincial and federal nongovernmental organizations Private foundation grants Environmental Droughts Floods Regional and state/provincial economic activity Regional development pressure Bureaucratic commitment Attention from elected officials Policy entrepreneurialism Administrative and technical expertise Interest group activity and mobilization Local foundation funding Grassroots activism Business advocacy groups Market (c) Policy network Government Civil society Market (d) Policy outputs Government Regulations and laws Programs Program staff and spending Grant requests Voluntary activity Resource restoration/protection Persuasion/endorsement Personal or lifestyle changes
190 (a) Internal influences \ J , ~ ~ (b) External \~/ \~ influences by \ \ FIGURE 11-1 Local environmental policy capacity model. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION , ~ , ~ ~ (c) Issue-specific policy network , ~~u n ~ armor implementation) < (e) Outcomes > , (d) Outputs Whereas local environmentalism may provide the political will for environ- mental action, local wealth can provide the fiscal resources required for effective community action. The community policy networks attempting to address envi- ronmental problems vary quite a bit in their ability to raise local funds, either because they attract a different tax base or because they vary in public support for ballot-box financing of bonds, taxes, and fees. That same policy network also may be influenced by external factors, such as funding for environmental programs or environmental mandates from state, provincial, and federal governments, or perhaps by state, provincial, and national interest groups with local chapters. Moreover, local desire for environmental protection may be tempered by low or heavily encumbered tax revenues or by state, provincial, and federal limitations on taxation (proposition 13~2 or restric- tions on land use regulation (such as those shaped by federal takings cases).3 External environmental and market factors also may play a role, such as pollu- tion or development pressure from a nearby city that prompts local concern among the public and/or within the local policy network. The factors included in (a) and (b) provide constraints and opportunities, which set the context for political action within the (c) policy network. Thus, internal factors such as political ideology, income, and party identification all can affect local policy responses, but only through the influence they have on the "intervening political mechanisms" that shape policy choices (Ringquist, 1993;
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH 191 Boyne, 1985). Such intervening can include interest group activity (Dahl, 1956; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1993; Ringquist, 1993), policy entrepreneurialism (Schneider et al., 1995; Mintrom, 2000; Kingdon, 1995), and stakeholder partic- ipation (Mazmanian and Sabatier, 1989~. In the local policy network, civic and government attention to an issue can translate into social choices and action targeted at that issue. Such efforts com- monly are referred to as (d) policy outputs and can include spending, regulations, hearings, new programs, and new laws (see Figure 11-1~. The four types of voluntary action described previously also fall under the policy output umbrella. In some cases, outputs can lead directly to collective environmental goods and services ("on the ground" [e] outcomes). For example, a local land trust may partner with a city agency to purchase a particular parcel of local open space. However, turning policy outputs into successful outcomes, especially when rely- ing on voluntary actions, can be far more complicated. Many outcomes require sustained attention from a (c) policy network, which may be similar to the one that generated the output, or may be a completely different policy network, or may be a mixture of both. A city's recycling program requires citizen participa- tion; a county's carpool program may rely on support from local businesses; an environmental group's habitat restoration program relies on membership partici- pation; a bond measure for open space acquisition funds may hinge on voter approval. These examples are just a small sample of the various types of outputs that rely on a network of private and/or public stakeholders and target groups that are responsible for turning environmental outputs into successful outcomes (Mazmanian and Sabatier, 1989~. This observation is especially true for volun- tary programs. To summarize, internal and external factors influence each other and the policy network; the policy network translates social attention into effort. De- pending on the type of action taken, outputs can result in immediate environ- mental protection, or such protection may hinge on the support, participation, and cooperation of community members. Based on this model, one would ex- pect policy capacity in the environmental context to be highest where: · Environmental conditions and problems are locally visible. · Local budgetary, technical, and administrative resources are relatively high. · Community expectations of, and desire for, institutional performance in environmental protection are high.4 · Political leaders sustain a commitment to environmental policy and pro- grams. Results from our California local open space preservation and solid waste diversion studies confirm many of these expectations.
92 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION LOCAL OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION IN CALIFORNIA Even though slowing growth now enlists nationwide voter support, sprawl has been left for local communities to address, and these are under tremendous pressure to develop open space in order to secure tax revenues. With ever-in- creasing populations and a political economy dependent on growth, how can people in some places in California manage to preserve open space? More spe- cifically, what are the conditions for creating innovative, effective land preserva- tion institutions at the local level? The Community and Conservation in California study5 investigates these questions by first assessing the extent of local acreage acquired by cities, coun- ties, special districts, and land trusts in California. Doing so reveals that commu- nities have acquired a little over a million acres of valuable open space, mostly since 1950. These acreages are very unevenly distributed. The study explores this variation by analyzing county-level policy capacity. Accordingly, we gath- ered data on civic environmentalism (through a telephone survey of 4,100 resi- dents), voting on statewide environmental policy measures (through state records), local fiscal and administrative resources (city, county, and special dis- trict revenues; planning and geographic information system [GIS] resources), and development pressure and landscape features (using new housing starts, topography, and river density). As the policy capacity model suggests, internal community factors may in- fluence local policy outputs and environmental outcomes. Development pressure and compelling landscapes stimulate concern for preservation (Figures 11-2 and 11-3~; fiscal resources enable land acquisition (Figure 11-4), and civic engage- 6 (a Cal 4 o 3 Q Ct ° 2 rem o O R = 0.62 . - . 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 1 1 Log land valuation change, 1965-98 FIGURE 11-2 Land valuation change versus local protected acres. Source: California State Controllor's Office (1965-1998~. 11.5 12
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH 6- ~n ~ 4- c' o Q Is ° 2- o 1- O- 193 R =0.55 . ........................................ . Sit . 0 1 2 3 Log urban river meters FIGURE 11-3 Urban rivers versus local protected acres. Source: California Spatial Information Library (2000~. 6- <~, 5 o Q 4 an c' 3 o 2 a, 1 o 4 5 6 7 R =0.56 . . . o- , , , , , , , 1 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 Log local government revenues, 1965-96 FIGURE 11-4 Local government revenues versus local acres protected. Source: California Department of Finance (1965/1996~. 9 9.5
194 8 Q Q ° 4.00- ~ 3.00 o ,, 2.00- o 1.00- 6.00 - 5.00 0.00 - ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION - ::~ ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... - R = 0.41 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 Civic environmentalism FIGURE 11-5 Civic environmentalism versus local acres protected. Source: Press (2002~. ment6 provides the values and political support necessary to mobilize local action (Figure 11-5; for the full study, see Press, 2002~. SOLID WASTE DIVERSION In 1989, California passed legislation designed to promote a dramatic shift in local solid waste management. The Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939) mandated that every city and county across the state achieve a 50-percent reduction in landfilled solid waste by 2000. Communities were given significant latitude in determining the most appropriate paths for achieving the required diversion levels. Cities and counties across California were (and continue to be) under intense political pressure to divert waste from landfills, and they all imple- mented various programs in response. Not surprisingly, communities have var- ied in their abilities to actually translate diversion efforts into outcomes by re- covering materials from the waste stream. The scientific advantage of investigating these variations in California is that relatively equal pressure was applied to communities across the state to achieve the same 50-percent diversion goal. One way of measuring these variations in success at the local level is by looking at the amount of recyclable material diverted from landfills. We used 1999 county-level recycling tonnage data provided by the state's Department of Conservation as an environmental outcome measure. Unfortunately, the state only collects recycling data for a handful of items: glass containers, aluminum containers, plastic containers, and some paper fibers. Communities can and do collect a wider variety of materials for recycling. However, because the items included in this data set are among the most common materials collected by curbside and other local recycling programs, they should provide a reliable (al- beit limited) indication of recycling levels.
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH 195 To control for variations in population size across counties, we used recy- cling tonnage per person as the dependent variable. For the independent vari- ables, we considered a variety of internal factors that could explain variations in local recycling capacity. For example, we measured community interest in and support for environmental protection (i.e., local civic environmentalism) using county percentage of registered Green Party voters in 1999 and county average vote on statewide environmental measures from 1998-2000 (see Figure 11-6~.7 Both voting and party registration are acts of civic responsibility. However, although voting for an environmental ballot measure is undoubtedly an act of environmental support, registering as a Green Party member is more a statement of affiliation than an environmental act. Our choice to use this variable as a surrogate for local civic environmentalism was based on an assumption that such voters perceive environmental issues as among the most important to them polit- ically, and such voters are likely to engage in various forms of environmental activism. Thus, a higher percentage of registered Green Party voters in a county could translate into a higher level of support for, participation in, or emphasis on environmental issues. A multiple regression of these variables on per capita recycling data for 57 of California's 58 counties suggests that those counties with a high degree of environmental support and interest also have high levels of per capita recycling (R2 = 0.55; p < 0.0001~. An index of broader internal civic engagement based on these measurements in addition to survey data for 30 California counties (col- lected through the Community and Conservation Study) also proved a reason- 0.07 - 0.06 0.05 - 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 o R = 0.55 _'- 1 1 · 1 1 1 1 1 1 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Index of 1999 Green Party registration and average ballot support from 1998-2000 FIGURE 11-6 Environmental support versus recycling per capita. Sources: California Department of Conservation (1999~; California Secretary of State (1999~.
96 Q 0.045- '' 0.04- ~ 0.035- `~ 0.03- 0.025- ~, 0.02- c, 0.015 - ~, 0.01- r 0.005- ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION O- -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 Civic engagement index FIGURE 11-7 Civic engagement versus recycling. Sources: California Depardnent of Conservation (1999~; California Secretary of State (1999~; and Press (2002~. ably strong predictor of per capita recycling levels (R2= 0.57, p< 0.0001~.8 Fig- ure 11-7 contains a scatterplot of these results.9 SOLID WASTE, OPEN SPACE, AND THE POLICY CAPACITY MODEL Most of the independent variables explored in the two cases we provided would be classified as internal civil society, government, and environmental variables in the policy capacity model. How do such internal factors shape open space protection and recycling activity? One plausible explanation is that these factors enable a policy network of public and private institutions that reflect and pursue the community's interest in environmental issues. In other words, inter- nal factors shape the policy network by supporting and in some cases creating important institutions and infrastructure capable of producing environmental out- comes. However, open space and recycling efforts may produce decidedly dif- ferent roles for the community in terms of implementation. In the case of open space, preservation often requires minimal effort from the community at large beyond providing latent support for the institutions and actors pursuing such ends. Occasionally, these actors and institutions may turn back to the communi- ty for political and/or financial support at critical times (e.g., when voters must pass a bond measure). Community recycling efforts, on the other hand, often rely on large segments of the community on a daily basis in order to achieve success. Whether community members participate in recycling programs may hinge on many of the same internal factors that either limit or empower expan- sive community recycling programs in the first place, such as environmental
DANIEL PRESS AND ALAN BALCH 197 attitudes and values and the amount of effort required for participation (Schultz and Oskamp, 1996; Stern and Dietz, 1994; Stern et al., 1993; Hopper and Niels- en, 1991; McKenzie-Mohr et al.,1995; Derksen and Gartrell,1993~. Thus in the case of recycling, civil society can have a significant impact on both policy formulation and implementation. CONCLUSION Logic and evidence concerning community-based voluntary measures sug- gest that this "third way" can make viable, important contributions to environ- mental protection under certain circumstances and in particular places. Over time, some communities develop expectations about collective environmental goods and the capacity to provide these goods through largely local efforts. Voluntary or discretionary community-based efforts often complement, extend, or leverage regulatory or incentive-based environmental policies. Indeed, vigor- ous community assistance can vastly enhance the programs implementing these policies. A good example comes from the many coastal zone watchdog organiza- tions. Such groups often conduct water quality tests far more comprehensively and frequently than government officials could ever hope to mount on their own; they also extend government enforcement and patrolling of coastal waterways. Thus it would be a mistake to view community-based measures as somehow standing apart from command-and-control regulation or market incentives man- dated by governments at all levels. State, provincial, and federal agencies and policymakers can and do- enhance community-based environmental voluntarism. Government can do so first, by enhancing the capacities of communities to translate local willingness into action. The returns on a few dollars of capacity-building can be huge. For example, a little time and effort on the part of some water district staff results in miles of stream cleanups on many weekends throughout the country. Second, agency officials who actively encourage and respect participation by volunteers and community groups benefit from not only from local activities that relieve their management burdens, but also from the wide, sustained political support that may follow. Finally, government can design traditional regulatory or incen- tive-based environmental policies with an eye to a role for community-based activities. For example, municipal waste diversion incentives would be far less attractive to urban residents, businesses, and industry in the absence of the many NGOs who routinely provide public education programs on recycling and reuse or perform free commercial waste audits. Community-based voluntary activities not only get the work of environmen- tal protection and restoration done, they extend governance over this important area to a much wider sphere than is possible when only two agents say, pollut- ers and regulators are involved. Because government officials always will be underequipped to provide entirely adequate governance over environmental is-
198 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY CAPA CITY AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION sues, community participation spreads the burden widely and provides insurance against, or compensation for, the shortcomings of traditional environmental man- agement. NOTES 1 For this analysis, we used the EPA's counts of watershed groups, which list the number of groups per state as well as counts of their activities. We included construction site inspections, pipe surveys, and human use and land use surveys in the category "land use surveys." We included debris monitoring and photographic surveys in the category "other surveys." Our thanks to Betsy Herbert for her assistance with the watershed data. 2 Proposition 13, passed in 1978, was a constitutional amendment passed by initiative. "Propo- sition 13 rolled back property tax assessments to 1975 levels, permitted an annual increase in assess- ment of only 2 percent except in the event of a sale, and, for all practical purposes, capped property- tax rates at 1 percent per year. (A higher rate requires a two-thirds vote, which is very difficult to obtain.) Since property tax rates at the time were approaching 2 percent in many parts of the state, Proposition 13 cut local government revenues dramatically"(Fulton, 1991:209). 3 See Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003 (1992), Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994). 4 Institutions here include administrative agencies, elected policymakers, and voluntary civic associations. 5 The Community and Conservation in California study was led by Daniel Press, Principal Investigator, University of California, Santa Cruz, with support from the EPA and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation (for the full study see Press, 2002). 6 We assessed civic environmentalism using survey and voting data, constructing an index measuring: (1) informational resources (knowledge of development or land use problems and con- flicts, familiarity with land trusts), (2) financial resources in the form of willingness to pay for collective environmental goods (either as property taxes or indirectly as income tax for park bond issues), (3) participation in a wide variety of face-to-face activities, (4) NGO resources in the form of volunteer activity for civic and environmental causes, and (5) a county's average vote on statewide environmental measures, 1924-2000. 7 Both the Green Party data and the environmental ballot approval data were downloaded from the California Secretary of State's Web site. The Green Party variable was created by taking total registered Green Party voters in a county for 1999 and dividing that figure by the total number of registered voters in the county for the same year. The ballot measure variable is an average percent- age of yes votes in the county on the four statewide ballot measures dealing with environmental issues between 1998 and 2000: 1998 Prop 4 (Animal Trap Ban), 1998 Prop 7 (Air Emissions Cred- its), 2000 Prop 12 (Parks and Water), 2000 Prop 13 (Water Conservation and Supply). 8 The civic engagement index was created by standardizing and then combining results from several different categories: (1) environmental values (1999 Green Party registration), (2) environ- mental liberalism (stated preference for increased governmental services and regulation to address environmental issues), (3) political mobilization (contacting public officials, volunteering time to political organization/candidate, and attending public meeting attendance), (4) environmental volun- teerism, such as Adopt-Creek, and (5) environmental support (county's average vote on statewide environmental measures, 1998-2000). 9 It is important to note that these results are preliminary and part of a larger research analysis that will include a variety of demographic, economic, and political variables and their possible relationships to disposal and recycling levels. Thus, the results presented here must be viewed with caution because a variety of factors that could skew the results, many of which will be taken into consideration in the complete analysis, were not explored fully in these preliminary findings. For
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