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Title:Perceptions of Illinois district conservationists toward the use of the hydrologic unit approach for natural resource planning and management
Author(s):Kitchen-Maran, Kay
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Russell, Earl B.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Agricultural
Environmental Sciences
Abstract:This study is concerned with the use of the hydrologic unit (HU) approach as a management strategy employed in the 98 United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service district offices in Illinois. The approach is the management technique or strategy of working with local people to solve community natural and human resource problems, using a nine-step resource planning process. The nine-step process centers on facilitating the processes of planning and seeking financial and technical aid for community leaders and other residents so that they may resolve their resource concerns.
One goal of this research was to determine to what extent the approach had been adopted by the Soil and Water Conservation District offices in the state of Illinois. Another goal was to assess the availability and adequacy of organizational support for the diffusion and adoption of the approach. A third major goal was to investigate the characteristics of the district conservationists and the districts to find what distinguished field offices that were advanced in the use of the approach from those which had not used the approach.
Data were collected with a mailed questionnaire to the district conservationists. District data were collected by the researcher from newsletters, reports, and other documents. At the time of the study, 40% of the districts were advanced in their use of the approach, while 35% were not using the approach. While managerial support for the approach was strong, limited fiscal resources and the 1985 Farm Bill workload had impact on the adoption of the process. Use of training and incentives was limited, but a change agent was provided for individual assistance. Distinguishing characteristics of district conservationists in advanced offices were: they had worked in their current offices longer, received more recognition, had more annual goals for resource planning set on performance appraisals, and had more training opportunities. Distinguishing characteristics of advanced districts were: they are in counties with severe natural resource problems; and their boards were rated highest for participation, had more fiscal and human resources, had more participation with county government, and were recognized more in newsletters.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Kitchen-Maran, Kay
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9215842
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9215842

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