"Cooperation gets it done": Social capital in natural resources management along the Kaskaskia River

Jessica E. Leahy, Dorothy H. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We present findings from an interpretive study of social capital in a natural resource management setting within the Kaskaskia River Watershed in Illinois. Forty-one semi-structured interviews with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) personnel and local community members were completed and analyzed. Findings emerged from the analysis related to the connected network of natural resource management players. This article explores the intertwined reliance among these players, the development of common community goals, and the role of the Corps in creating social capital and other benefits in the Kaskaskia River Watershed. A conceptual model provides insight into how social capital is linked between multiple entities within this context. The study findings expand on the current understanding of social capital and suggest ways researchers might approach future studies of social capital in similar settings. The findings have natural resource management implications, including ways of focusing management, increasing public involvement, and facilitating communication approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-239
Number of pages16
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Agency-community relationships
  • Natural resource management
  • Social capital
  • U.S. army corps of engineers

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