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Collaboration Resources

Photo by Tiffany Folkes

Welcome to Conservation Connect

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:

  • Foster peer-to-peer and community-to-agency connections
  • Support exchange of knowledge, tools and best practices
  • Identify common challenges and move to team problem-solving
  • Promote the development of new understandings around the ecological, social and economic objectives of collaborative forest stewardship
  • Build the organizational capacity of collaborative groups

Sign up here to receive our quarterly Taproot eNewsletter and occasional additional notifications relevant to your geographic area. These newsletters include grant opportunities, webinars, collaboration resources, project highlights, and more.

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Fellowship Program
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Upcoming Events

Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) Peer Learning Session Series

Utilizing TFPA and 638 Contracting to Achieve Landscape Restoration Goals
Tuesday, July 30, 1:30 - 3:00 pm Eastern Time via Zoom. Register here.

Peer Learning Session Objectives

  • Learn about the relationship between the USDA Forest Service and federally recognized Tribes.
  • Hear examples of how the Tribal Forest Protection Act (TFPA) and 638 Contracting Authority are being used in landscape-scale forest restoration.
  • Engage with CFLRP practitioners and partners working under the TFPA and/or using 638 Contracting Authority.

Suggested Audience

The suggested audience for this session includes collaborative groups and participants, US Forest Service staff, practitioners and planners of landscape-scale restoration work, and partners and alumni of CFLR Programs.

Past sessions in this series:

Demystifying Reporting

June 27, 2024

Expanding Prescribed Fire Capacity & Implementation

May 29, 2024

Exploring Collaborative Health, Resilience & Governance
April 24, 2024

Landscape Prioritization
March 26, 2024

All Hands Web Meeting
February 22, 2024

Adaptive Management
January 12, 2024

Collaborative Dynamics
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Peer Learning Series Kickoff

September 13, 2023

What We Do

Facilitation & Assistance in Designing Collaborative Processes

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:

  • Assistance in developing governance documents, protocols and ground rules
  • Process structure and organization
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Record-keeping and coordination

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:

  • Supporting shared learning and exchange of knowledge among community-based collaborative groups and Forest Service employees
  • Identifying lessons learned and best practices
  • Building relationships among people working on similar issues across distances
  • Identifying common challenges and moving to team problem-solving

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 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.

Photo by Sabrina Claros

The Conservation Connect Philosophy

Community-based conservation continues to grow and evolve. Conservation Connect services focus on peer learning because:

  • Community-based collaborators are experts in their work
  • Collaborative group experience and knowledge is on the cutting edge of the field
  • People naturally learn best through current, real-world challenges and sharing ideas with each other along the way
  • Peer learning is an efficient way to share knowledge with others
  • By connecting people across rural areas, states and regions, we are fostering a network that we hope will sustain itself beyond specific learning opportunities

“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!"”

Conservation Connect Participant

For more information on Conservation Connect, please contact:

Sarah Di Vittorio, Director, Conservation Connect, at 530.902.8281 or [email protected]