The U.S. Institute Announces Award Recipients at the ECR2012 Conference
In conjunction with the ECR2012 Conference, the U.S. Institute sponsored two awards to recognize exemplary and innovative environmental collaboration and conflict resolution efforts.
The Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Award (ECCR Award) recognizes exemplary and innovative environmental collaboration and conflict resolution efforts to help government, other affected entities, and members of the public arrive at a common goal or agreement in addressing conflicts and challenges related to the environment and natural resources, including matters related to energy, transportation, and land use. Fourteen ECCR award nominations were accepted across a spectrum of project contexts, including policy development, planning, rulemaking, permitting, resource allocation and rights issues, siting and construction, compliance and enforcement, and implementation and monitoring. An Award Committee consisting of representatives from the U.S. Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA Forest Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Energy evaluated the nominations and selected the two award recipients.
The first ECCR Award was given to the Oregon Fish Consumption Rate and Water Quality Standards Rule Dialogue, a project jointly sponsored by the EPA, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and facilitated by Donna Silverberg, of DS Consulting. The project featured two innovative aspects. First, the environmental conflict resolution (ECR) process was designed to manage the complexity of stakeholders involved in the dialogue with multiple engagement mechanisms. Representatives from the three governments engaged in direct negotiations to reach agreement. These negotiations were informed by multiple technical workgroup discussions and input from public workshops and hearings. Second, the case is an example of efficient and effective tribal representation in ECR processes. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation not only advocated for their own interests, but were also able to reflect the concerns of other tribes. Four entities and individuals were recognized in the award: the U.S. EPA Region 10; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; Kathryn Brigham, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; and Donna Silverberg, DS Consulting.
The second ECCR Award went to the USDA Forest Service National Planning Rule Revision, spearheaded by the Chief of the Forest Service, Tom Tidwell. Development of the new Planning Rule occurred through a broad and inclusive planning process that was also integrated with the activities of tribal consultation, an interagency working group, electronic tools for collaboration and public participation, and formal public comment processes required under NEPA. Many participants in the process noted that this effort set a new standard for what is possible when applying a collaborative process to a controversial issue at a national scale. The most cutting-edge or innovative aspect of the effort was the integration between formal and informal process, science and collaboration, legally required activities, and supplemental collaborative activities. The combined use of electronic tools and traditional models of collaboration also helped make the rule-making process transparent, participatory, and collaborative. Seventeen entities and individuals were recognized in the award: Tom Tidwell, chief of the Forest Service; Tony Tooke, director, Ecosystem Management Coordination, USFS; Ric Rine, assistant director for planning, Ecosystem Management Coordination, USFS; Larry Hayden, team lead, Planning Rule Team, USFS; Martha Twarkins, collaboration team lead, Planning Rule Team, USFS; Jessica Call, co-lead, Collaboration Team, USFS; Brenda Halter-Glenn, co-lead, Planning Rule Team, USFS; Debra Whitall, collaboration team member, Youth Involvement, USFS; Megan Wertz, collaboration core team member, USFS; and facilitation team members Connie Lewis and Justin Henceroth, Meridian Institute; and Gail Brooks, Kim Caringer, Maggie McCaffrey, Cherie Shanteau-Wheeler, the U.S. Institute, and Larry Fisher, the U.S. Institute (retired).
The Innovation in Technology-enhanced Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Award (Collaboration Technology Award) recognizes cutting-edge applications of new technologies that enhance environmental collaboration and conflict resolution processes. Natural resource protection and management issues are typically complex, divisive, and can be protracted and costly to address. Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution practices are key to government efforts to make informed, timely, and workable decisions that balance public and private interests. The Collaboration Technology Award is designed to increase awareness, promote best practices, and create networks between those striving to improve governance related to environmental and natural resource issues, including matters related to energy, transportation, and land use. An Award Committee consisting of representatives from the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Adamant Accord, Inc.; and the Trust for Public Land evaluated the nominees and selected the award recipient.
The Collaboration Technology Award was given to the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) Strategic Plan. The LCCs are self-directed partnerships tasked with taking a larger applied conservation science view than any single organization or agency can do independently in order to inform science on a larger, regional scale. The leadership of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) faced complex challenges common to all LCCs. They needed a way to increase awareness of the process, broaden participation, and effectively engage multistate and multijurisdictional stakeholders in identifying regional priorities, putting the right science in the right places, and avoiding duplication of efforts. They sought a high degree of transparency, inclusiveness, and openness for the process. Through a collaborative design process, the SALCC Planning Committee created a layered process approach that utilized different types of collaborative technology throughout key phases in the project, including web-based surveys that captured the attitudes, values, and beliefs of over 400 SALCC stakeholders; webinars that validated and clarified key themes, risks, and perceived challenges; and decision support/groupware that enabled more informed decisions and choices in the planning process and increased understanding and buy-in of recommended plan elements. Four entities and individuals were recognized in the award: Vern Herr, partner, Group Solutions, Inc.; Brett Boston, partner, Group Solutions, Inc.; Ken McDermond, coordinator, South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative; and Mallory Martin, Steering Committee chair, South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
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