"We must encourage, catalogue, and expand the collaborative solutions that hold the most promise to protect our public lands and our working lands."
Secretary of Agriculture
National Vision for America's Forest
Seattle, WA 8/14/2009
COLLABORATIVE PLANNING WORKSHOP:
Helping national forests and community leaders organize for collaborative action
The USDA Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre (Cadre), an initiative of Ecosystem Management Coordination’s Human Dimensions National Program, is offering peer-to-peer workshops to help national forests and community leaders organize for collaborative action.
There is a renewed commitment by the Forest Service and stakeholders to a collaborative approach to natural resource management planning. The new Planning Rule requires collaboration as a fundamental part of the planning process. Also, collaboration is more imperative with a shift to a collaborative all-lands ecosystem restoration approach under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Agency experience and research shows the benefits of collaboration include improving relationships, realizing more sustainable agreements, encouraging cooperation among disparate groups, and reducing conflict, appeals and litigation.
The workshop provides a unique peer-to-peer learning environment where participants explore critical elements for successful collaboration and draft strategies for advancing collaboration. Upon request from a forest or grassland unit, a Cadre team works directly with unit personnel and their community partners to customize and carry out a two-day workshop. The Cadre works with the forest and community leaders prior to the workshop to assess the situation and develop a format tailored to the specific needs of the host unit. Because each community and Forest Service unit brings a unique set of collaborative capabilities and experiences to the workshop, the Cadre emphasizes approaches that harness and integrate those capabilities for optimum performance.
Potential uses for the collaboration workshop include providing a foundation for forest planning processes, launching landscape scale restoration efforts, and establishing groups for increased volunteer involvement and support.
The Cadre is a dedicated group of community leaders, Forest Service staff, and academics that combines a broad range of experience in public collaboration with the latest research to offer assistance to national forests and grasslands around the country. The unique aspect of the Cadre is the combined expertise of its diverse membership: forest planners, staff officers, community leaders, resource specialists, district rangers, and public affairs officers. National forests benefit from all of these perspectives when working with the Cadre to improve their public collaboration initiatives.
Building on Lessons Learned
The Collaborative Planning Workshop integrates collaboration research on national forest planning, collaborative experience of Forest Service staff and community members, and the host forest’s unique situation into a hands-on learning experience. The workshop is designed to help a forest and its communities explore the critical elements for successful collaboration and develop a strategy framework for effective collaboration.
For more workshop information please contact:
National Collaboration Cadre
202-205-1140 or email@example.com