Suitability of a Program of Compensation for Environmental Services for the Rural Rocky Mountains

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"The paper will examine whether local communities in a major river basin in southwestern Wyoming could make use of compensation for environmental services (CES) in order to protect threatened water values in the basin. Water is currently managed in the basin via a locally-rooted institution with nested action arenas that offers considerable flexibility and some promising history of past responsiveness to new policy needs at the local level. The basin, at the headwaters of the heavily-used Colorado River, is under pressure from energy development, second-home development, and downstream urban water demand which threaten traditional water uses valued by the community. The paper will discuss possible ways using local funding (from existing taxes on mineral production already dedicated to water issues) to aid the community in designing a CES plan that could fit the current institutional design and help protect threatened traditional water uses."
IASC, water resources, Colorado River, institutional design, environmental policy