National Forest Foundation

Learning Topics

Working at the Project Level

For many who work with the U.S. Forest Service, maintaining focus on the project level is of utmost importance since centralized agencies are built to work from the top down. We work on connecting Forest Service staff, community partners, and other individuals interested with each other to promote the health of our forested regions and grasslands in a project oriented manner. NFF created (or is sharing) the tools and resources in this section to aid collaborative groups engaging in collaboration at the project level.

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Selected Peer Learning Sessions

Partnering for Success: Watershed Condition Framework (June 22, 2015)
This peer learning session featured the perspectives of a line officer and partner as they explained how partnerships and cooperation are critical to improving watershed health on national forests. Speakers shared their experiences and discussed lessons related to working with one another to develop and complete successful watershed restoration projects.

Aiming for Success: Watershed Condition Framework (May 27, 2015)
This peer learning session for Line Officers was designed to share the value of the Watershed Condition Framework and discuss successes and challenges of its implementation. Following a kick-off by Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief of the National Forest System, two case studies were shared that explained how the Watershed Condition Framework has been used to improve watershed health on national forests. Speakers shared their experiences in the selection of priority watersheds, project implementation, and the role of partners.

The 2014 Farm Bill: Working Smarter through Strengthened Collaboration (June 18, 2015)
In this peer learning session, speakers focused on one element of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), the NEPA categorical exclusion (CE) for insect and disease treatments. Following an overview of the new NEPA tools from the Washington Office, Tera Little, Project Team Leader for the Jasper Mountain Project on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, discussed the Jasper Mountain project, which was one of the first projects completed under the new authority.

NEPA & Collaboration at the Project Level (May 14, 2015)
Focused on project-level planning and implementation, this session dug into the mechanics of collaborating throughout the NEPA process. Speakers shared barriers they had to overcome, strategies for success, and tips for nurturing collaboration throughout NEPA. The fantastic line-up of speakers includes specialists from the Washington Office of the U.S. Forest Service, Deschutes National Forest, and Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest.

CFLRP Implementation Issues 2 (April 19, 2011)
This peer learning session focused on CFLRP implementation issues and financing.

Moving from Collaborative Project Design to Implementation and Monitoring (April 8, 2009)
In this peer learning session, presenters asked participants to discuss how collaboration can move into implementation

Stewardship Contracting: Updates, Overview and Examples (July 24, 2014)
In this peer learning session Forest Management staff at the Washington Office provided an overview of the stewardship authority. Next, agency staff and partners from Region 1, the Idaho Forest Group, and the Malheur National Forest discussed the processes they used to develop integrated resource timber contracts (ITRCs) and integrated resource service contracts (IRSCs).

Stewardship Agreements and Contracts - Important Tools for Accelerated Restoration (December 11, 2012)
In this session, participants learned about the latest status of stewardship tools and how the Bureau of Land Management is using the direction; received a basic "how to" for stewardship agreements and contracts; learned about recent improvements (most specifically, addressing fire liability in Forest Service stewardship agreements); and listened to lessons learned by two community-based partner groups.

Closing the Feedback Loop: Capturing Shared Learning for Adaptive Management (May 4, 2012)
This peer learning session is part of a project to explore shared learning processes and adaptive management tools that are being used by collaborative resource management groups. Presenters shared examples of collaborative group learning processes that lead to adaptive change and learned from participants’ experiences as well.

Evaluation and Adaptation in Collaborative Resource Management – A New Sourcebook (May 14, 2013)
This peer learning session discusses a newly-published sourcebook, Closing the Feedback Loop: Evaluation and Adaptation in Collaborative Resource Management. The sourcebook explores strategies and tools that collaborative groups use to systematically evaluate their work and adapt plans and management actions based on what they have learned. Presenters from around the country shared examples from the field, and discussed process tools from nine rapid assessments that are described in the sourcebook.

The Line Officer's View on Collaboration and Partnerships (September 5, 2013)
What is the forest supervisor’s role in collaboration and partnerships? Each line officer has his or her own leadership style and brings a different perspective to how they interact with community stakeholders. In this peer learning session, we heard directly from several experienced forest supervisors about their views on strategic approaches to partnerships and collaboration, and how partnership coordinators and other staff can help them and the forest succeed in working with their communities.

Tribal Relations & Partnerships (October 9, 2014)
The Office of Tribal Relations recently published a new guide for tribal governments, Start a Partnership With the USDA Forest Service or Obtain Federal Financial Assistance. The Guide is an excellent tool for Partnership Coordinators and Forest Service staff involved in partnerships. This session introduced and explained the Guide, plus much more.

Selected Tools & Resources

Adaptive Management Technical Guide
In an effort to make better decisions, learn mid‐stream from the impacts of those decisions, and involve communities of interest and place in stewardship efforts, the Department of the Interior developed a tool called “Adaptive Management: The U.S. Department of the Interior Technical Guide.”

Making Monitoring Count: Project Design for Active Adaptive Management

Partnership Resource Center
The Partnership Resource Center is the result of a true partnership developed through the shared vision of the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and the National Partnership Office of the U.S. Forest Service. Recognizing the many resources being developed about collaboration and partnerships, the Forest Service and the NFF gathered a group of people in 2009 to talk about how to renovate the Partnership Resource Center into an interactive portal. Those working collaboratively in the effort include the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, the Red Lodge Clearinghouse and Southwest Decision Resources, as well as the Forest Service's Ecosystem Management Coordination staff, the Chief Information Office, and Forest Service staff from forest and regional levels.

Getting the Work Done - Employee versus Contractor?
Both nonprofit organizations with staff and those that are all‐volunteer periodically face the issue of reorganizing their human resources to adjust to new challenges and increase effectiveness. This document outlines considerations to make when hiring a staff person or contractor.

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