Comparison of USDA Forest Service and Stakeholder Motivations and Experiences in Collaborative Federal Forest Governance in the Western United States
- 318 Downloads
In the United States, over 191 million acres of land is managed by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, a federal government agency. In several western U.S. states, organized collaborative groups have become a de facto governance approach to providing sustained input on management decisions on much public land. This is most extensive in Oregon, where at least 25 “forest collaboratives” currently exist. This affords excellent opportunities for studies of many common themes in collaborative governance, including trust, shared values, and perceptions of success. We undertook a statewide survey of participants in Oregon forest collaboratives to examine differences in motivations, perceptions of success, and satisfaction among Forest Service participants (“agency participants”), who made up 31% of the sample, and other respondents (“non-agency”) who represent nonfederal agencies, interest groups, citizens, and non-governmental groups. We found that agency participants differed from non-agency participants. They typically had higher annual incomes, and were primarily motivated to participate to build trust. However, a majority of all respondents were similar in not indicating any other social or economic motivations as their primary reason for collaborating. A majority also reported satisfaction with their collaborative—despite not ranking collaborative performance on a number of specific potential outcomes highly. Together, this suggests that collaboration in Oregon is currently perceived as successful despite not achieving many specific outcomes. Yet there were significant differences in socioeconomic status and motivation that could affect the ability of agency and nonagency participants to develop and achieve mutually-desired goals.
KeywordsCollaboration forest management United States national forests
This research was made possible by funding from Oregon State University’s College of Forestry and by in-kind contributions to the analysis and interpretation from the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. Figure 1 was designed and prepared by the Ecosystem Workforce Program, Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Brown SJM (2012) The Soda Bear Project and the Blue Mountains Forest Partners/USDA Forest Service Collaboration. J For 110:446–447Google Scholar
- Butler WH (2013) Collaboration at Arm’s Length: Navigating Agency Engagement in Landscape-Scale Ecological Restoration Collaboratives. J For 111:395–403Google Scholar
- Cheng AS, Sturtevant VE (2012) A framework for assessing collaborative capacity in community-based public forest management. J Environ Manage 49(3):675–689Google Scholar
- Coulter K, Boggs D, Macfarlane G, St. Clair J, Garrity M, Marderosian A, Gaede M, Talbott R, Short D, Horejsi B, Mitchell R, Reed E, Robey F, Blaelock J, Anderson L, Sterns S (2015) Collective Statement on Collaborative Group Trends. Blue Mountains Biodiversity ProjectGoogle Scholar
- Koontz TM (2004) Collaborative environmental management: What roles for government? Resources for the Future.Google Scholar
- Margerum R (2011) Beyond consensus: Producing results from collaborative environmental planning and management.Google Scholar
- Oregon Solutions (2013) Oregon forest collaboratives: Statewide inventory. http://orsolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/OFCSI_Draft_February_20131.pdf
- Oregon State Board of Forestry (2009) Achieving Oregon’s vision for federal forestlands. Oregon Board of Forestry, Salem ORGoogle Scholar
- Parkins JR (2008) The metagovernance of climate change: institutional adaptation to the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic in British Columbia. J Rural Community Dev 3:7–26Google Scholar
- Schuett MA, Selin SW, Carr DS (2001) Making it work: Keys to successful collaboration in natural resource management. J Environ Manage 27(4):587–593Google Scholar
- Susskind L, van der Wansem M, Ciccareli A (2003) Mediating land use disputes in the United States: Pros and cons. Environments 31:39Google Scholar
- Tidwell T (2012) U.S. Forest Service land management: challenges and opportunities for achieving healthier national forests: hearing before the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry of the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, second session, 27 March 2012. http://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/media/types/testimony/HAgC_03-27-2012_Testimony.pdf. Accessed 14 Jan 2015
- Vaske JJ, Needham MD, Cline Jr RC (2007) Clarifying interpersonal and social values conflict among recreationists. J Leis Res 39:182Google Scholar
- Wondolleck JM, Yaffee SL (2000) Making collaboration work: Lessons from innovation in natural resource managment. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Wondolleck JM, Yaffee SL (2003) Collaborative ecosystem planning processes in the United States: Evolution and challenges. Environments 31:59Google Scholar
- Yaffee SL, Wondolleck J (1997) Building bridges across agency boundaries. Creating a Forestry for the 21st Century. Island Press, Washington, 381–396Google Scholar