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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Buckley, Patrick H.

Second Advisor

Melious, Jean O.

Third Advisor

Rossiter, David A.


Bertrand Creek and Fishtrap Creek are transboundary watersheds located in the eastern portion of the Fraser Lowlands border region. Population growth, land use practices, and urban development in British Columbia (BC) and Washington (WA) are pressuring surface and groundwater resources. As a result, questions of transboundary watershed management have arisen. Management of transboundary water resources creates dynamic governing scenarios, as mismatched levels of government and regulatory fragmentation both within and between neighbouring nations results in a confusing governing scenario. Consequently, cooperation between nations regarding transboundary resource management may be difficult to formulate. However, this thesis is based on the assumption that successful transboundary resource management can result from the existence of social capital. A research questionnaire was undertaken with watershed management specialists from BC and WA to test four hypotheses pertaining to social capital and cooperative management of small scale transboundary watersheds in the Fraser Lowlands. The four hypotheses are: is there evidence to support the existence of substantial transboundary social capital; is there evidence for a preferred structure for transboundary governance; are there cultural or social differences resulting from the border; and, does the existence of social capital outweigh differences resulting from the border. While it is impossible to directly measure levels of social capital, it is possible to investigate for indicators in support of the existence of social capital, by testing for differences and similarities between BC and WA responses. The research results indicated evidence in support of the existence of social capital. It identified a mixed approach to governance as the preferred structure, and that there are social and cultural differences resulting from the border. Evidence supporting the existence of cognitive and structural social capital within this border region could be interpreted as an indication of a setting open to collective action.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Watershed management--Social aspects--Bertrand Creek Watershed (B.C. and Wash.); Watershed management--Social aspects--Fishtrap Creek Watershed (B.C. and Wash.); Watershed management--Political aspects--Bertrand Creek Watershed (B.C. and Wash.); Watershed management--Political aspects--Fishtrap Creek Watershed (B.C. and Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Bertrand Creek Watershed (B.C. and Wash.); Fishtrap Creek Watershed (B.C. and Wash.)




masters theses




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