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1. Strategy question 1: Formal or informal institutions? Does the community see the outcome of the self-analysis and strategymaking as a new formal institution, plan, policy, or law? There is no universally superior set of tools for managing boom and bust, only tools that are better adapted to the situation and more suitable to certain groups of actors actors and their skill sets. If unrealistic public expectations are likely to lead to disappointment, external advisers, internal discussions, and most of all local leadership should help in clarifying the situation to the community. The level of local control over boom/bust cycles and their effects, an insight which should have been generated by the analysis described in Part III, should be made clear to all participants. If that degree of autonomy is clear from the start, it will ensure unrealistic options are excluded from the start. • Maintaining control and local autonomy over local resources and infrastructure is a major challenge as well as an opportunity for many rural communities. The efforts of community forestry in places like Revelstoke, BC are a case in point, in which local control of forest resources has translated directly into local benefits for communities and groups. Another example of the opportunities afforded by local autonomy involves the efforts of local farmers in parts of the west to take control of transportation technologies to move gain, such as railway lines, locomotives, and rail cars. In central Alberta, West Central Road and Rail is a new generation cooperative that owns and operates grain handling facilities to support local farmers and to help sustain local communities along the railway. Producers purchased and took charge of the local transportation infrastructure in response to a decision by CN to discontinue rail service on that line. This formal institution grants the community a degree of autonomy that enables some control over the boom/bust cycles that are attributed, in part, to distant owners and others in charge of resources and industry. • When long-term planning and development by means of creating or changing formal institutions is unlikely, a community can still opt for building a long-term strategy by negotiating and working with both informal and formal institutions. Such combination of formal and informal approaches can work for very diverse types of strategies, from a simple storyline to a detailed playbook, from a comprehensive plan to a recurring

Part IV: Boom/Bust:Moving forwards: Strategy-making

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Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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