The joint administration or cooperative management (comanagement) of living resources is the potential solution to the contentious divergence between two alternative systems: centralized, state-level versus local-level and community-based systems of resource management. But co-management does not have a simple prescription. There are "levels" of co-management, from informing and consultation, through degrees of power-sharing between the central government and local resource users. Studies in the James Bay area indicate that the capability of local-level management or self-management is important not only from a fish and wildlife management point of view. It is also important to the social and economic health of many native communities. Because of the continuing importance of living resources, the economic development of native communities is linked to their ability to manage their own resources. This, in turn, is linked to larger questions of self-government.