The Society of American Foresters 2020 Convention in October included a number of interesting presentations, and I’ll be posting about some of them. This one is a study by Chelsea McGiver and Dennis Becker at the University of Idaho Policy Analysis Group. I encourage those interested to view their entire Does Collaboration Make a Difference-SAF2020here.
As a person who has been following these kinds of studies since 2000-ish (I worked on Process Predicament from the NEPA side), it’s seldom that someone comes up with a really new idea or metric. As Fred Norbury, then Director of the EMC staff in DC, used to say, “how can we say it takes too long and costs too much if we don’t know how long it takes and how much it costs?’
McIver and Becker have come up with a metric for efficiency which is the ratio of acres treated per planning day. This seems to me to be an innovative and useful metric. Kudos to them for working through FACTS and PALS to get the acreage numbers.
Here are their findings:
*No significant difference was found in planning timelines between collaborative and traditional projects
*Collaborative projects were significantly larger in terms of acres treated than traditional projects
*Collaborative projects were associated with significant increases in planning efficiency
*Collaborative projects were associated with significant increases in the number of unique activities accomplished
*Mean number of unique objectives greater for collaborative projects across decision types