Table 3. Timeline of ecological and political change in the Upper Baiwu watershed, 1920–2008. Historical dates are aligned with phases in the adaptive cycle.

Cycle and phase Norm-setters Scale of norm-setting Goals Enforcement mechanisms Major events Adherence to principles†
I: r, 1920–1956 Community Local Sustainable resource use Ritual, formal mediators, community sanctions Nuosu move to lowlands; slow expansion Supported
I–II: Ω–α, 1957–1961 Communist Party National Maximum resource extraction; transformation Propaganda, class struggle Great leap forward; village nucleation; large-scale cutting Violated
II: r–K, 1961–1983 Communist Party National Maximum resource extraction; development Propaganda, class struggle Collective agriculture; large-scale cutting Violated
II: K–K, 1983–2008 Communist Party, technocrats National and local Development; preservation Policing Economic development; conservation programs Violated
III: Ω–α, (possible future) Communist Party, contractors, possibly community National and local Preservation; profit Policing Privatization of forests; classification of forests Unknown

†Adherence to Ostrom’s (1990) design principles reflects a qualitative assessment of support or violation of each of the eight principles (see Table 2).