National EADM Report Out!!!

I was planning to post each region’s findings and compare them, and I apologize as one of my other volunteer gigs took a time-consuming turn (Aside, HOA, need I say more? I’m going to submit an idea for a reality show “HOA Rescue” like “Bar Rescue”. Anyone know anyone in the entertainment industry?)

So NFF got ahead of me and here’s a link to their findings. I haven’t had time to review them myself, so please take a look and add your thoughts below. Based on my experience at the Region 2 workshop and my looks at Region 8 and Region 9 reports, NFF did a great job of summarizing the themes. Here is their own summary:

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 trainings 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 resource
s – 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.

1 thought on “National EADM Report Out!!!”

  1. There wasn’t a lot that jumped out at me as new here. The public wants to influence the decisions, and the Forest Service either doesn’t want that, or even where they have more collaborative decision-makers they don’t have the extra resources or time to do it effectively. One key finding that could be a solution: “partners want to be involved before scoping begins.” I think they want to be involved in the “where” question.

    Here’s a couple of other things:
    “NEPA is often blamed for these problems, when really it is not the law itself but the Agency’s process
    that is the cause.”
    “Minimal litigation or objection is viewed as a positive outcome in terms of a project moving to implementation, but the negative costs of defensive over-analysis, unwieldy documentation, and narrowing the scope of projects in order to “fly under the radar” of litigants are usually not considered.” (I was kind of shocked that that the last item is just sort of acknowledged as SOP.)
    “Partners raised concerns that cross-boundary issues like climate change, invasive species, and wildlife habitat are not well managed or planned for …”

    Speaking of planning, here are the highlights of that (a pleasant surprise):
    • “Raised questions about how land management plans and the required forestscale
    analyses relate to project-level decisions.
    • Expressed that land management plans could be more useful tools if they
    truly serve as a roadmap for implementing landscape-scale restoration.
    • Projects appear piecemeal, without connection to a larger vision, and partners
    are often uncertain where or when the agency plans to work next.
    • Shared that they do not feel that land management plans give local units
    enough direction to prioritize resource objectives at the project level, leading
    to redundancy of discussions about trade-offs and adding to collaborative

    The public is demanding meaningful forest plans that address issues at that scale, and that they can trust and use to work with the agency. The agency seems instead to be trying to have less useful forest plan direction. And these recommendations do not include better forest plans (instead to develop a “framework” or “tools”). How did they miss that?


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