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Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Forest Service 2003 Success Stories
Success Stories: Can Agency-Led Initiatives Conform to Collaborative Principles? Evaluating and Reshaping an Interagency StrategyAccelerating Cooperative Riparian Restoration and Management
How do you know if your accomplishments are truly making a difference? The National Riparian Service Team (NRST) wanted to evaluate their program effectiveness and chose a customer satisfaction survey as one way to assess their accomplishments.
The first phase of an Office of Management and Budget-approved (OMB) evaluation of the NRST interagency strategy was recently completed. Data was gathered through mail-back surveys of training session and service trip participants, and in-depth interviews with initiative implementers.
Findings show that the initiative has successfully reached 20,000+ people, and most survey respondents were extremely satisfied with the instructors and services provided.
Training session participants felt their knowledge regarding the assessment of riparian-wetland function had increased. However, training sessions were typically characterized by a lack of diverse participation and limited long-term improvement in cooperation . This is of particular concern because the majority of respondents identified social factors as extremely serious barriers to success.
In comparison, service trips demonstrated considerably higher levels of success than training sessions in terms of facilitating on-the-ground cooperative restoration and management (GRAPH #3).
Lower success rates in the service trips were linked to:
Lack of up-front participation by diverse stakeholders
Insufficient opportunities for dialogue and mutual learning
Limited follow-up activities.
Because of these evaluation results, the strategic plan has been revised for Creeks & Communities to more adequately balance the social and technical dimensions of this work.
USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment