As part of our mission, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) offers neutral facilitation services for collaborative efforts that benefit National Forest System lands. We believe that communities should play a leading role in determining the future of our National Forests and Grasslands, so we focus our efforts on connecting these communities, and the people who comprise them, to the tools, knowledge, and funding to become active and devoted stewards of this incredible public estate. Over the past year, we have been asked to conduct collaborative assessments and design stakeholder processes in order to expand engagement in forest planning.

San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative

On the Angeles National Forest in California, the NFF convened a large group of diverse stakeholders to participate in the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative. The group is focused on providing input on the management of the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Given the number and diversity of cultural, geographic, local government and community-based interests, the Community Collaborative is necessarily large. The Community Collaborative spent many months deliberating, evaluating, and finding common ground to ensure that the diverse interests of the communities that encircle the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument are taken into account. In August, the Community Collaborative submitted consensus comments to the Forest Service on the Need to Change document for the Angeles plan amendment relating to the Monument.

A meeting of the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative.

“We were able to come up with a document that we can all support, which is the first time this has been done when a National Monument has been designated to serve the recreational needs of such a large, urban population.”

-Liz Reilly, Councilwoman, City of Duarte, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments

To view the consensus comment letter and learn more about the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative, please visit with direct link to the letter here.

Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala & Pisgah Plan Revision

On the other end of the country, the NFF is supporting a collaborative process focused on addressing several issues of conflict in the Nantahala & Pisgah National Forests plan revision. The collaborative process is intended to augment existing cooperative efforts and public input related to the forest plan revision process.

Photo by Jeff Clark

The NFF facilitated the kick-off meeting of the Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala & Pisgah Plan Revision in Asheville, NC on September 23, and established the following as its purpose:

In a collaborative dialogue amongst stakeholders representing diverse interests, identify zones of agreement to form recommendations around critical resource issues related to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests’ plan revision. The key issues are forestry and restoration, special designations, and sustainable recreation. Recommendations should achieve clean and abundant water, connect communities to the land, and maintain and restore resiliency and diversity.

The NFF will be working with the Stakeholders Forum over the next eight to ten months to discuss the issues and develop recommendations.

Rio Grande

In the Southern Rockies Region, the NFF supported public participation during the first year of plan revision on the Rio Grande National Forest. The NFF designed a public participation strategy and worked with Forest Service staff and a contracted facilitation firm to implement the strategy by hosting numerous public meetings and facilitating online engagement during the assessment phase of the plan revision process. Through this process, the NFF helped the Rio Grande National Forest meet and exceed the public participation requirements of the 2012 Forest Planning Rule.

National Forest Foundation