This page has the “How to” information for any stage of collaboration starting with understanding the Forest Service, legal requirements, funding and other details. 1. Understand the Forest Service Peruse the following links to learn about how partnerships help us achieve our mission: About the Agency: this link to the main Forest Service website includes a broad overview of the Forest Service and information on agency history, the Strategic Plan, budget, regulations and newsroom links. For a visual overview of the Forest Service, see the brochure “A Guide to your National Forests and Grasslands.” For more, follow this link for a comprehensive list of maps including a National Overview Map, and topographic, motor vehicle, visitor and other maps. Many are printable. A detailed look at how the U.S. Forest Service is organized. 2. Start a new partnership The Partnership Guide. This draft document has comprehensive information broken down into individual chapters on: what partnerships are, roles within partnerships, instruments and authorities, working with Indian Tribes, volunteer agreements and other topics. The Collaboration Primer is a 4-page document that outlines how to start building a partnership—including how to identify when a collaborative approach is not appropriate. In Chapter 1 of The Partnership Guide, the section “Effective Beginnings“ describes traits of effective partners and other good starting points for developing a new partnership. Start a Partnership With the USDA Forest Service or Obtain Federal Financial Assistance A Guide for Tribal Governments. This online guide has comprehensive information on procedures, federal funding and opportunities (48 pages.) The Collaboration Watch Outs is a 1-page pdf with information about common pitfalls to avoid. The 2013 document “Building Partnerships: A Best Practices Guide” is a 17-page document with excellent information on partnering with the private sector. 3. Explore funding opportunities Check out information and links on the Funding Information page 4. Understand the legal & administrative aspects of a partnership Many partnerships have formal arrangements that involve legal documents or administrative tasks. While the Forest Service grants and agreement specialist is responsible for paperwork or legal instruments, partners may want to learn more about them. Remember--it’s important to consult early and often with the Forest Service Grants and Agreements team. Visit the Legal and Administrative Information page for detailed information. 5. Maintain a Successful Partnership Some resources on this topic include: O’Neill’s 21 Partnership Success Factors is a 3-page document with guidelines for building healthy partnerships. Collaborating for Healthy Forests and Communities: Building Partnerships Among Diverse Interests” is a 30 minute video from 2011 that showcases on-the-ground experiences of federal and state land managers, community leaders, who are working together to overcome barriers, find agreement, and build partnerships. Ethics: a quick Summary for Partners, a 1-page document, condenses major ethical considerations for partnerships. 6. Evaluate, Adapt or Close out a partnership Some resources include: Closing the Feedback Loop: Evaluation and Adaptation in Collaborative Resource Management: This 2013 sourcebook has tips and lessons learned, as well as many short case studies, and ideas for how collaborative resource management groups might evaluate and adapt their work. (47 pages) After Action Reviews: This 2-page document is a tool for quickly assessing what happened during an activity and whether any lessons from it would help in the future. It includes facilitator tips and links to other resources. After Action Review Worksheet: This 1-page document lets users fill in the blanks to evaluate a partnership.