Abstract: Economic and social considerations in natural resource management include the need for community participation and a greater appreciation of social and economic processes in understanding environmental problems. It is anticipated that new frameworks will guide these inclusions and redirect planning and management activities to achieve environmental sustainability. This paper examines issues of participation and the nature of ‘community’ through an analysis of relevant natural resource management policy documents and a case study of a public drinking water supply catchment in Western Australia. The findings indicate that if NRM strategies are to be successful, then a much wider and more inclusive view of community is needed, one that fully captures the different stakeholder groups beyond farmers, such as town residents, indigenous people, and those involved in other land uses. We need strategies that can accommodate differences within and between communities.