This spring, the National Forest Foundation supported the Forest Service in convening and facilitating ten Regional EADM Partner Roundtables across the country, and produced a report from each of them to document input shared by partners. The NFF also pulled cross-cutting themes from the regional reports and summarized them into National Findings and Leverage Points.
In the national summary report, partner input was organized into nine themes and describe perceptions of the identified problems and leverage points for each. The report details many important leverage points that are worthy of attention, however here is a summary of the key takeaway messages:
- Embrace learning and accept risk – Partners want to engage in collaborative settings with the Forest Service earlier in project development, desire more transparency in Agency processes, and are interested in and willing to share the risk around EADM processes.
- Work collaboratively to build understanding and trust – Partners recommend holding joint training with Forest Service staff on laws, agency process and collaboration. Partners want clarification on common characteristics of both excellent collaborative processes managed by the Forest Service and community-based collaborative groups to ensure consistency and quality, while enabling flexibility for local innovation.
- Seek out partnerships to leverage opportunity, knowledge, and resources – Partners want to play a larger role in sharing technical resources, expertise, volunteers, and data. In a resource-scarce environment, the Forest Service needs better systems to leverage the resources partners offer.
- Manage transitions like they matter – The high frequency of staff transitions, and the way transitions are currently managed by the Forest Service, are major barriers to EADM and to community relationships.
To see the reports and other Roundtable materials, please go to www.nationalforests.org/EADM.