U.S. Forest Service and Communities: Successful Collaboration to ...

mfpp.org

U.S. Forest Service and Communities: Successful Collaboration to ...

U.S. Forest Service and Communities:

Successful Collaboration to

Enhance Climate Resilience

Model Forest Policy Program | Cumberland River Compact


U.S. Forest Service and Communities:

Successful Collaboration to

Enhance Climate Resilience

December 2012

Foreword

The U.S. Forest Service and rural communities share the common goal of bringing climate

resilience to our public land forests. This white paper, produced by the Model Forest Policy

Program and written as part of our educational program, Climate Solutions University,

documents the results of the Clark Fork Coalition’s work conducted during 2012 on US Forest

Service aspects of a climate report produced by and for the Missoula, Montana Community in

2011; and highlights examples of collaborative efforts and lessons learned shared by several

others. We look forward to many more collaborative projects in support of the ever increasing

need by the U.S. Forest Service and adjacent communities to adapt to climate change. Click here

to view the related webinar: www.mfpp.org/csu/working-with-usfs/

Climate Solutions University (CSU) is a program of the Model Forest Policy Program

(www.mfpp.org) in collaboration with the Cumberland River Compact

(www.cumberlandrivercompact.org/).

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the following for their extraordinary efforts to make this project a

success:

Kresge Foundation

Harder Foundation

Headwaters Economics

U.S. Forest Service:

Climate Change Advisor’s Office, Washington, DC

Northern Research Station, MI

Region 1, MT

Lolo National Forest, MT

San Juan National Forest, CO

CSU Communities:

Clark Fork Coalition, Missoula, MT

Mountain Studies Institute, Silverton, CO

The Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA

Canyonlands Watershed Council, Moab UT

Superior Watershed Council, Marquette, MI

Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance, Greeneville, TN

ii | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


Copyright

It is the intent of the authors and copyright holder that this paper be used as a model for climate

adaptation planning by other communities. Any part of this paper may be reproduced without

permission for non-commercial purposes provided that it is reproduced accurately and not in a

misleading context and the source of the material is clearly acknowledged by means of the above

title, publisher, and date. The wide dissemination, reproduction, and use of the report for noncommercial

purposes are all encouraged. Users of the report are requested to inform the Model

Forest Policy Program at:

Model Forest Policy Program, P.O. Box 328, Sagle, Idaho 83860

ngilliam@mfpp.org, (509) 432-8679; www.mfpp.org

No use of this publication may be made for resale or any other commercial purpose whatsoever

without prior permission in writing from the Model Forest Policy Program.

Photo Credits

Cover:

Upper right insert photo: Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA. Two

forestry technician trainees examine a Madrone tree in the Six Rivers National Forest.

Lower left insert photo: Clark Fork Coalition, Missoula MT. The Clark Fork Coalition

manages five water rights, thirteen water leases, and two headwaters lakes to create habitat

for native trout and meet the needs of agriculture. In this photo, a restoration technician takes

flow data from Nine Mile Creek, a 186-square mile watershed in western Montana.

Background photo: Margaret Hall, Selkirk Mountains, Priest Lake, ID

Table of Contents:

Plate XXXVI. “Debris from floods on Nolichucky River, East Tennessee,” from Message

from the President of the United States [to Congress]: A Report of the Secretary of

Agriculture in Relation to the Forests, Rivers, and Mountains of the Southern Appalachian

Region, 1902.

Page 2:

Right photo: Mountain Studies Institute, Durango, CO. 2008 Climate Conference featuring

mountain science from around the nation.

Left photo: Mountain Studies Institute, Durango, CO. MSI and partners restore a high

elevation, 10,000 year old wetland near Ophir Pass, CO.

iii | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


Page 3:

Right photo: Joshua Smith, Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA.

Volunteer counting fish in the South Fork Trinity River.

Left photo: Clark Fork Coalition, Missoula MT. Technician takes flow measurements for

stream restoration project active in the Clark Fork, Bitterroot, Blackfoot watersheds.

Page 5:

Clark Fork Coalition, Missoula MT. The Clark Fork Coalition and Lolo National Forest have

a Partnership Agreement to conduct a Beaver Reintroduction Feasibility Study in 2013.

Page 7:

Right photo: Marcie Bidwell, Mountain Studies Institute, Durango, CO. 2012 Ophir Pass

Fen Restoration

Left photo: Koren Nydick, Mountain Studies Institute, Durango, CO. Ozone Injury

Workshop.

Page 8:

Mountain Studies Institute, Durango, CO. GLORIA Project.

Page 9:

Watershed Research and Training Center, Hayfork, CA. The Watershed Center’s Youth

Stewardship Crew hikes along the Bear Creek Trail in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

This trail and much of the surrounding area was burned in 2008 Wildfires; due to the

sensitive soil type, the WRTC youth crew implemented erosion control measures to protect

water quality in Bear Creek.

Back page:

Upper right insert photo: Zach Arno, Mountain Studies Institute, Durango, CO.

Lower left insert photo: Provided by the Clark Fork Coalition, Missoula MT. In 2011, the

Coalition purchased a water right on Racetrack Creek from the Clines of R Bar N Ranch.

Each summer, flow and temperature readings are taken to ensure that the creek has enough

water to sustain a healthy fishery and support local agricultural operations.

Background photo: Margaret Hall, Selkirk Mountains, Priest Lake, ID.

iv | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


Table of Contents

I. Climate Solutions University (CSU) and the Role of Collaboration .......................... 1

II. Brief History of Collaboration in Management of National Forest System

Lands ..................................................................................................................................................... 2

III. Examples of Collaborative Work with Forest Service by CSU Communities ...... 3

A. Clark Fork Coalition and Lolo National Forest ............................................................ 4

B. Mountain Studies Institute and San Juan National Forest ..................................... 4

C. Watershed Research Center and Trinity National Forest ...................................... 4

IV. Lessons Learned............................................................................................................................... 5

A. Relationships are key to building trust, laying the foundation for

collaboration .............................................................................................................................. 5

B. Formal project management is essential to successful collaboration ............. 5

V. Recommendations ........................................................................................................................... 6

A. Find or create new opportunities for successful collaboration .......................... 6

B. Use Forest Service tools and processes that foster collaboration ..................... 6

VI. Appendices ......................................................................................................................................... 8

Selected Publications .................................................................................................................... 8

U.S. Forest Service Guidance and Information ................................................................. 8

Contacts for Further Information ........................................................................................... 9

v | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


I. Climate Solutions University and the Role of Collaboration

Climate Solutions University (CSU) is a program of the Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP) in

collaboration with the Cumberland River Compact designed to empower rural communities with

strategies for climate resilience. The CSU staff work with communities throughout the United

States in primarily rural settings with the goal of increasing their forest, water, and economic

resilience in the face of increasing stress from climate change. See

www.mfpp.org/?page_id=689. CSU is an E-learning program with extensive coaching to guide

communities to develop and implement actionable climate adaptation plans. The CSU

curriculum and process is based on a 2007 publication written by the Climate Impacts Group at

the University of Washington (Seattle). 1

The climate adaptation planning process outlined in “Preparing for Climate Change” relies

heavily on effective team building in the affected community. The range of possible actions to

improve community resilience concludes with a strong statement in support of collaboration:

Partnership building with other communities and agencies. Communities do not govern

in isolation, and climate change impacts do not follow jurisdictional boundaries. Preparing

for climate change will require building new collaborations or strengthening existing

partnerships (e.g., with other local governments, tribes, federal and state agencies, non-profit

organizations, and the private sector) to address the impacts that occur both within and

outside of your community’s jurisdiction.

Climate Solutions University is composed of two programs: Plan Development and Plan

Implementation. In early 2012, the Clark Fork Coalition (CFC) joined the CSU Plan

Implementation program to work on implementation of the public lands elements, specifically

US Forest Service lands, of a climate action report prepared in 2011 by the Clark Fork Coalition

in partnership with the Geos Institute and Headwaters Economics. 2 The majority of public lands

in the Missoula area are in the Lolo National Forest, leading to close collaboration with Forest

Service personnel.

In addition to supporting Clark Fork Coalition by providing resources and expertise to help

enhance the existing relationship with the Lolo National Forest, CSU presented a webinar on

October 16 that featured the collaboration between Clark Fork Coalition and the Forest Service

as well as similar collaborative efforts in other CSU communities. This paper documents the

content of that webinar plus additional materials for use by CSU communities, the Forest

Service, and other public and private entities addressing climate change issues in the

management of public lands.

1 Snover, A.K., L. Whitely Binder, J. Lopez, E. Willmott, J. Kay, D. Howell, and J. Simmonds. 2007.

Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments. In association

with and published by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Oakland, CA.

2 Marni E. Koopman, Jill Alban, Brianna Randall, Mark Haggerty and Ray Rasker. 2011. Missoula

County Climate Action: Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Community.

1 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


This paper offers examples of effective collaborations leading to enhanced climate resilience. It

is not intended to be a comprehensive review of National Forest management collaboration. The

reader is directed to the Appendix for references to a number of lengthy academic and Forest

Service evaluative and guidance documents.

II. Brief History of Collaboration in Management of National Forest

System Lands

Collaboration is an essential component of the CSU program. Inclusiveness of all parties with an

interest in the governance and management of forest and water resources is needed in order for

climate adaptation plans to be accepted and implemented, especially in smaller communities. In

rural communities, the United States Forest Service (USFS) is often a significant owner and

manager of land. In addition, the USFS conducts extensive research on climate change impacts

on forests and water, and provides direct assistance to small forest landowners.

Recently, the agency has put a strong emphasis on climate change. This year, the agency adopted

new planning rules requiring inclusion of climate adaptation.

The USFS has also recently adopted other policies, such as the Climate Scorecard, to track USFS

climate-related management, including the requirement of increased engagement with

communities as climate change impacts force the agency to adjust its management practices.

Extensive literature has developed to study to the effectiveness of collaboration on public lands,

including the USFS, the Bureau of Land Management, and other state and federal agencies.

2 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


These projects proliferate because significant benefits are perceived by the participants in a

majority of cases. Indeed, one recent study 3 concluded:

• Collaborative efforts are generally “open and inclusive of all interests, viewpoints, and

stakeholders.”

• Collaborative efforts generally “foster informed decision making.”

• Collaborative efforts tend to be “more efficient in terms of time and money” than

alternative forms of forest governance.

• “72% of respondents said that [collaboration] produced a more effective, lasting outcome

over their next best alternative.”

USFS policies are now firmly in place designed to address climate change and other stresses, and

communities are increasingly aware of the need to manage adjacent national forests for

resiliency. It is likely that new collaboratives will continue to form. Climate Solutions University

encourages this trend and offers this review paper to showcase how these communities and

agencies are leading by example.

3 Matthew McKinney and Patrick Field. 2008. Evaluating Community-Based Collaboration on Federal

Lands and Resources. Society and Natural Resources, 21:419–429.

3 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


III. Examples of Collaborative Work with Forest Service by CSU

Communities

A. Clark Fork Coalition and Lolo National Forest

The Clark Fork Coalition (CFC) (www.clarkfork.org/) has worked closely with the Lolo

National Forest (LNF) (www.fs.usda.gov/lolo) for many years on stream flow and habitat

restoration projects along the Clark Fork and its tributaries in and around Missoula, Montana.

Recently, CFC also led a community workshop on climate change, resulting in the release of a

report titled, “Missoula County Climate Change Primer.” This report detailed many strategies by

which local government, public agencies, conservation groups, and individual citizens could help

create more resilient natural and human systems in the face of climate change. In particular,

workshop participants encouraged public lands officials to collaborate with other sectors to better

catalog and plan for landscape-scale climate change impacts. In 2013, the LNF is fulfilling this

community-endorsed strategy by partnering with the CFC to conduct a watershed vulnerability

assessment (WVA) that will identify 1) the areas of aquatic habitat on the LNF at greatest risk,

and 2) those areas most likely to provide resiliency for biotic resources over time. The CFC and

LNF anticipate that they will continue to work closely together on public lands watershed

management issues following the completion of the WVA.

B. Mountain Studies Institute and San Juan National Forest

Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) (www.mountainstudies.org/) and the San Juan National Forest

(SJNF) (www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan/) in SW Colorado have conducted a series of cooperative

scientific studies, monitoring programs, and restoration projects. MSI and the SJNF work

together at the San Juan Public Lands Center, an interagency land management office in

Durango including both Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

MSI’s CSU climate plan (2010) expressly calls for continuing collaborative efforts with the

federal agencies to further scientific research and monitoring to understand the impacts of

climate change in the area, in order to better inform future adaptation actions.

C. Watershed Research Center and Trinity National Forest

Watershed Research Center (WRC) (www.thewatershedcenter.com/) is a science oriented NGO

in Trinity County, California. The Trinity National Forest (managed as a combined Shasta-

Trinity NF) (www.fs.usda.gov/stnf/) has worked closely with the WRC and the small rural

communities of Trinity County. A community forest stewardship project has been established,

giving the community a significant voice over how designated national forest lands around the

town of Hayfork are managed, as well as helping the local economy.

Additional details of these and other examples are available via online webinar archives at

www.mfpp.org .

4 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


IV. Lessons learned

The CSU staff conducted extensive interviews of the CSU communities and Forest Service

representatives. Out of those interviews, review of the published literature, and the dialogue in

the October 16 webinar, come a number of lessons regarding collaboration between communities

and the Forest Service:

A. Relationships are key to building trust, laying the foundation for collaboration

Relationships come first; understand each other’s needs—collaborative initiatives flow

from mutuality.

The easiest place to start is with specific on-the-ground projects such as stream

restoration and water quality monitoring.

Planning and higher level policy collaboration is built upon successful, project-specific,

joint efforts (vulnerability assessments, community forestry).

It is important to include all key interests; one of the most frequent reasons collaborations

fail is the non-participation of interested stakeholders.

B. Formal project management is essential to successful collaboration

Be clear on specific goals, objectives, and products with timelines.

Build support for collaborative efforts among other agencies and communities of interest;

the broader the base, the stronger the project.

Establish formal agreements or contractual relationships (contracts, cost share

agreements, MOUs, research permits); there is nothing like a contract deadline to keep

collaborators focused on success.

5 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


V. Recommendations

Flowing from the CSU communities and Forest Service dialogue in this project, following are

recommendations for future actions.

A. Find or create new opportunities for successful collaboration

Collaborative relationships with NGOs can benefit both organizations. The Forest Service is

stretched thin and the budget situation is expected to become more severe at least in the near

term. At the same time, needs are increasing along with the stress of climate change impacts, as

exemplified by increased wildfires in a number of districts. Community involvement extends the

Forest Service’s capacity to successfully manage national forest system lands for the benefit of

the nation.

Characteristics of community organizations that position themselves well for public lands

collaborations include having:

The necessary staff and skills to do the technical work, such as restorations or

monitoring;

The flexibility to move quickly with specific tasks and actions without bureaucratic

delays;

The administrative capabilities to efficiently execute contractual documents and deliver

services and products of high quality and on time;

The opportunities for public education and outreach that the USFS benefits from but

cannot readily conduct on its own; and

The ability to bring their own resources to the collaborative work, adding synergy to the

USFS contributions.

The Forest Service has a number of mechanisms to increase the organizational capacity of

potential partners, including:

Create or dedicate existing staff positions (or partial FTEs) and funding to engagement

with local communities, NGOs and local governments;

Look for opportunities to reward and promote engagement activities, such as community

forests; and

Help communities find other sources of funding (such as from other federal agencies

working on climate adaptation and resiliency) to enable them to participate more

effectively in collaborative efforts.

B. Use Forest Service tools and processes that foster collaboration

The Forest Service has been proactive in the development of policies and scientific research

programs that promote forest resilience. The agency can increase the opportunities for successful

collaboration by ensuring that interested communities are aware of and have easy access to these

tools. A number of programs exist that can provide significant support to communities desiring

to participate in collaborative efforts.

6 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


On the science side, the regional offices and research

stations provide extensive resources on the impacts of

climate change and giving guidance on adaptive

management responses. These resources are essential

to put communities and local Forest Service officials

on the same page concerning the situation on the

ground in their area.

To facilitate and encourage collaborative efforts, the

Washington Office houses “The National

Collaboration Cadre, a group of community leaders

and Forest Service employees dedicated to helping

others organize for collaborative action. The Cadre, an

initiative of the National Human Dimensions Program

(Forest Service, Ecosystem Management

Coordination), offers peer-to-peer workshops in local

communities to help national forests and community

leaders organize for collaboration.”

The Climate Scorecard is an excellent internal

monitoring tool for the Forest Service to keep track of

these efforts. The originator of the Scorecard, the Office of the Climate Change Advisor to the

Chief, is available for assistance on climate adaptation related collaborative efforts.

Finally, the Forest Service’s Climate Change Resource Center is an invaluable resource for

further ideas and references: www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/.

7 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


VI. Appendices

Selected Publications (listed in reverse chronological order)

Daniel Kemmis and Matthew McKinney. 2011. Collaboration and the Ecology of Democracy,

Sustainable Development Law & Policy 12, no. 1: 46-50, 69-70.

Matthew McKinney and Patrick Field. 2008. Evaluating Community-Based Collaboration on

Federal Lands and Resources. Society and Natural Resources, 21:419–429

Sam Burns and Antony Cheng. 2005. The Utilization of Collaborative Processes in Forest

Planning. Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College, and U.S. Forest Service.

Michael Hibbard and Jeremy Madsen. 2003. Environmental Resistance to Place-Based

Collaboration in the U.S. West. Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, Volume

16, Issue 8.

Linda Kruger. 2003. Understanding Community-Forest Relations. General Technical Report

PNW-GTR-566.

Su Rolle. 2002. Measures of Progress for Collaboration: Case Study of the Applegate

Partnership. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-565.

Sturtevant and Lange. 1996. Applegate Partnership Case Study: Group Dynamics And

Community Context. PNW Research Station.

U.S. Forest Service Guidance and Information

Climate Scorecard and Guidance: www.fs.fed.us/climatechange/advisor/scorecard.html

Watershed Vulnerability Assessment:

www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/docs/climate-change/westernwatersheds-workshop/vulnerability-assessment.pdf

National Partnership Office:

www.fs.fed.us/aboutus/partnership/index.shtml

Climate Change Resource Center: www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/

Additional References:

www.fs.fed.us/emc/nfma/collaborative_processes/references.htm

8 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


Contacts for Further Information

Toby Thaler, Policy Advisor

Model Forest Policy Program

toby@mfpp.org | (206) 783-6443

Or please visit:

Model Forest Policy Program’s Collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service on Climate

Adaptation Solutions Website: www.mfpp.org/csu/working-with-usfs/

Cathy Dowd, Natural Resource Specialist

Climate Change Advisor's Office

USDA Forest Service

cdowd@fs.fed.us | (202) 205-1384

9 | P a g e U.S. Forest Service & Communities: Successful Collaboration


Model Forest Policy Program, P.O. Box 328, Sagle, Idaho 83860

www.mfpp.org

Similar magazines