Accepted Paper:

Who manages the watershed? Legitimacy building and competing uses of watershed space  


Mayumi Fukunaga (Osaka Prefecture University)

Paper short abstract:

This article draws on an ethnographic research in order to examine local politics of managing watershed landscapes in Northern California, focusing on the process of landscapes building and its function which reinforce legitimacy on resource use and bring social norm among local stakeholders.

Paper long abstract:

Since the 1970s, across the Northern West Coast of the United States, the spread of environmentalism led to the construction of new values and relationships with watershed resources such as salmon and old growth forests, and caused more intense competition in claiming legitimacy among stakeholders regarding the control of and decision-making about watershed resources and their uses. Common to these constructed and increasingly politicized landscapes are the forms and practices of how stakeholders discovered focused attention, and built these resource-values landscapes which enable each stakeholder group to name their collective identity, acquire their history of resource use, and recall shared constructed collective memory. Based on a case study analysis, this article specifically sketches the processes in which each stakeholder group founded its watershed-values landscape in the political strain of resource use competition, especially since 1990, and shows how the landscapes were reconstructed materially and conceptually, mixed with each stakeholder group's ideal image of a watershed, while being conscious of differentiation among stakeholders. This sketch also illustrates, how local actors, in order not to fall into the never-ending political disputes and irrevocable escalation of conflicts, discovered their 'everyday landscape' in contraposition to each differentiated and conceptualized one, and evaluated it as what was locally shared and embodied as common daily social practices among local actors. From an analysis of the constructions of the legitimacies of watershed landscapes, we may discuss the gap between the conceptualized landscapes and 'everyday landscapes,' and their interplay in the politics of watershed landscapes.

Panel P048
Landscape as cultural production by social practices in space and time (CLOSED - 5)