Forrest asked the question yesterday , “how can a research project be designed to provide input that might actually be used in a productive way by the agency. Perhaps co-production is part of the answer to that, but there might be other factors (e.g. perhaps we should focus on some variables that are more amenable to change?).”
My thoughts on that are we have more than 100 years of land grant institution experience about how to link users and producers of knowledge. Researchers need to be in dialogue with practitioners and understand their needs. I’ve found this to vary by type of school (land grant or liberal arts), the specific school and sub-school culture, discipline and individual professor’s interests (and their kind of appointment, research, teaching and extension percentages). Plus of course what there is research funding for. Which is a whole other study that could be done: Factors that Influence Faculty/Practitioner Interaction. To get at that, we could take the forest-related faculty at a variety of schools and survey to what extent they interact with people in practice.. and through what virtual or physical places, meetings, whatever. I remember a prof at Oregon State (was it Tom Adams?) saying he learned as much from teaching at Silviculture Institute as he taught (or maybe it was CEFES). But I digress.
Anyway, in terms of questions, it’s OK to be simply curious but also OK to be focused on practical outcomes. So in the broadest context of the “NEPA” ecosystem (NEPA-system) we have these actors:
Forest Service- line officers, NEPA folks, specialists
Parties Who Want to Do/Benefit From Projects- communities, industries (recreation, powerlines, etc.), wildlife interests and so on
Parties Who Do Not Want or Want to Change Projects – ENGOs and/or local groups of various kinds, with or without legal representation
What questions do you have about anything within the NEPA-system?
Here’s one example, if you’re the kind of person who needs ticklers… like me. Chief Moore mentioned in his talk at SAF that he thought BLM in some cases, was more efficient with NEPA (can’t remember his exact words off the top of my head). That would bring up the question for me.. what would we find out if we surveyed a bunch of bi-agency folks (with experience in NEPA in both agencies) on the topic of “what works best for one that the other agency might try?”.
If you can’t think of any right now, please feel free to come back to this thread as we discuss more and put your questions (and proposed ways of getting at them, if you’d like) in the comments.