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Working Across Boundaries

People, Nature, and Regions

Matthew J. McKinney and Shawn Johnson

August 2009, English

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

The principles, strategies, and tools describes in this book are a gold mine of information about how to manage regional collaborations and reach consensus around some of the most difficult issues we face today. It is the ‘how to’ guide for dispute resolution and the fair exercise of democracy—a must read for practitioner or layperson alike.”

Steve Frisch, President, Sierra Business Council

This book presents tested strategies for regional collaboration across a broad range of issues related to land use, natural resources, and the environment. Practitioners, policy makers, and citizens will find guiding principles, key questions for regional governance, and examples of effective implementation in this informative volume.

About the Authors

Matthew McKinney is director of the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at The University of Montana, where he also serves as chair of the Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Program. He has more than 20 years of experience in collaboration and conflict resolution on a number of land use, natural resource, and environmental issues.


Shawn Johnson is an associate of the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at The University of Montana, where he focuses on cross-boundary land use, natural resource, and environmental policy challenges. He is also a doctoral student in natural resource policy and behavior at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment.


This book is a wonderful guide for every citizen who would engage in the process of planning better communities set in sustainable landscapes. With informative examples from across the nation, the authors explain what works and what doesn’t, and how to reach across jurisdictional boundaries to connect the parts—city, town, and country.”

— Bruce Babbitt, Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona 

Matt McKinney and his colleagues have looked closely at past efforts to plan for and manage land use and natural resources at a more-than-local level in North America. The distinction they make between networks, partnerships, and regional institutions is instructive. When communities or resource users have a choice, which approach to working across boundaries is most likely to be effective? The are versus power problem has been around for a long time, but this book advances the conversation by offering a ser of principles that stakeholders, agency personnel, and elected officials can use to fit their collaborative strategy to the details they face.”

— Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wow! Finally a compass for multijurisdictional land conservation and management has been wonderfully synthesized. With climate change looming and resource implications for human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation a concern, transboundary approaches are the future. McKinney and his colleagues have written a valuable primer that addresses the challenges between the often disconnected scale of how land problems are defined and the scale necessary for effective solutions.”

Gary M. Tabor, Director, Center for Large Landscape Conservation


Conservation, Development, Dispute Resolution, Environment, Growth Controls, Growth Management, Land Market Monitoring, Land Market Regulation, Land Monitoring, Land Use, Land Use Ethics, Land Use Planning, Mediation, Natural Resources, Planning, Public Policy, Regionalism, Regulatory Regimes, Smart Growth, Sustainable Development, Transportation, Urban, Urban Design, Urban Development, Urban Revitalization, Urban Sprawl, Urbanism, Water, Zoning