Graduation Date

Summer 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Erin Kelly

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Laurie Richmond

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Sungnome Madrone

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


In the Mattole River Watershed of northern California, in response to a history of resource extraction, poor land-management practices, and the back-to-the-land movement, a restoration economy has emerged. This economy includes nonprofit watershed groups, individual landowners, local residents, state and federal agencies, foundations and for-profit consulting firms. Utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methods, this study seeks to reveal how the 40-year community-based restoration economy in the Mattole Watershed has contributed to community well-being and local livelihoods, and how it has changed over time. Results suggest the restoration economy has contributed to a resilient and vibrant community and has enhanced community capitals – specifically human, social, cultural and political capital. Results further indicate that existing stocks of human and cultural capital enabled the development of the restoration economy, and that there is a circular and reciprocal relationship between community-based restoration and community capitals. This study concludes there are multiple challenges (or perhaps opportunities) ahead – including changes associated with the legalization of cannabis and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements.

Citation Style