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A learning network, Conservation Connect serves community-based groups and Forest Service employees involved in collaborative stewardship on National Forest System lands, and complements the NFF's grant programs. Conservation Connect's objectives are to:
The National Forest Foundation offers skilled facilitation services for collaborative efforts involving the Forest Service at the forest, state and regional level. The NFF is known and respected for our neutrality, and we bring experience and knowledge of collaborative process and structure.
When stakeholders consider entering a collaborative process, they often appreciate learning about the approaches used by other groups and their results. The NFF staff's familiarity with collaborative efforts across the country is often of great benefit to new efforts. Our services include:
In addition to offering short-term facilitation and assistance to numerous collaborative groups across the country, we have been actively involved in facilitating and/or participating in the following processes:
The National Forest Foundation documents tools, best practices, and examples of collaborative processes for a "Toolbox" of shared knowledge. The purpose of these documents is to enable easy sharing of innovation and creativity in the field of collaborative stewardship.
Peer Learning Sessions are 90-minute video and web conference discussions around key issues collaborators face when working on National Forest issues. Objectives include:
Conservation Connect provides direct technical assistance and coaching in-person, on the phone and via email, offering information and referral on a variety of topics related to collaborative stewardship of National Forests and Grasslands.
Coaching is customized and service-oriented. Through one-on-one discussion, we help identify other needs and more effectively match groups with the resources appropriate to the issue. We strive to refer people to community-based collaborators or agency resource staff who offer specific expertise relevant to each request.
The National Forest Foundation has a long history of offering design, coordination, and facilitation services for workshops involving the Forest Service at the forest, state and regional level. We also assist with communications, website development, and registration as part of the package of services we offer when hosting workshops.
We have been recently hosted or assisted with the following workshops:
Together with the National Partnership Office (NPO), the National Forest Foundation is working to create avenues for new partnerships with the Forest Service through the Partnerships on Every Forest (PEF) program. This program aims to empower every Forest Service employee to seize partnership opportunities that achieve cross-boundary conservation outcomes, embrace shared leadership by collaborating with diverse communities, and build inclusive relationships based on respect and trust.
Working directly with staff at local forest units, the PEF program strives to help identify barriers to developing meaningful, long-lasting partnerships, and to help facilitate pathways forward around those barriers.
Community-based conservation continues to grow and evolve. Conservation Connect services focus on peer learning because:
“World-class organizations are fully committed to learning and self-criticism. The "expert model" is being replaced by "communities of practice" and through knowledge sharing. This format is an excellent venue for achieving these aims. Keep it up!"”