The Forest Service has increasingly incorporated collaboration, the act of engaging a diverse set of stakeholders with a range of perspectives, interests, and knowledge, into project planning, implementation, and monitoring activities. The benefits of collaboration include the opportunity to engage a range of perspectives, work through polarizing issues outside of court, build understanding of and support for agency actions, and create more durable outcomes.
This webinar focused on collaborative implementation of restoration projects. Presenters Dr. William Butler (Florida State University), Annie Schmidt (Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition), and Allen Rowley (Fishlake National Forest) discussed research findings and practical experience engaging in collaboration.
William Butler is an assistant professor of environmental and collaborative planning in the department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. His research examines collaborative process, design, structures, and interactions in natural resources and environmental management context, with a focus on practitioner and policy-level learning and change. His most recent work includes a four-year study of the U.S. Fire Learning Network and a five-year study of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.
Annie Schmidt is the director of the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition and the owner of Grindstone Environmental Services. The Chumstick Coalition is one of eight “fire adapted communities” pilot projects in the nation. Over the past 15 years, Annie has worked for both the Forest Service and collaborative groups, with a focus on public involvement, natural resource planning, capacity building, and non-profic management. She is the lead author of “A Roadmap for Collaboration, Before, After and During the NEPA Process.”
Allen Rowley is the Forest Supervisor serving the Fish Lake National Forest and the Manti-La Salle National Forest in south-central Utah. He has experience working with collaborative groups around timber sales, motorized travel management planning, and sustainable livestock grazing in Montana and Utah. He was very active in the Utah Forest Restoration Working Group to develop guidelines for aspen restoration on national forests in Utah.