John S. McCain III
National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Project Case Summary

Mt. Hood National Forest Recreation Management Plan: Collaborative Intervention
November 2001-June 2006

Location: Oregon


The Mt. Hood National Forest covers 1.1 million acres in Northwestern Oregon. The forest receives more than six million national and international visitors annually. It also serves as an urban national forest for residents of Portland and Vancouver who live within a two-hour drive of the Forest.

Like other public lands, the Mt. Hood National Forest is experiencing conflict over the appropriate balance of land uses. Together with other public and private sector leaders, forest leadership recognized the need for collaborative strategic planning on recreation management in and around the Mt. Hood National Forest.

The Forest Service enlisted the help of the U.S. Institute and the state of Oregon's Public Policy Dispute Resolution Program to conduct an initial assessment of stakeholder perspectives, interests, and concerns. This assessment provided the foundation for the strategic planning process

Results and Accomplishments

  • The assessment identified a range of process design options for developing a collaborative approach to recreation planning. These included outreach to a variety of key stakeholder groups and development of internal staff capacity to encourage collaboration.
  • As one example, the Forest Service worked with U.S. Institute roster members to develop a series of training workshops for Forest Service staff and potential program partners. These initiatives are ongoing.


  • The Forest Service's ultimate intent for this project is to reduce conflicts and engage the community in the stewardship of Mt. Hood National Forest. Forest Service staff report that significant progress has already been made:
  • "[This] experience was a major influence in helping us set upon a more collaborative course of management. The benefits continually unfold and develop."
  • "We have learned a lot about collaboration, about our stakeholders, and have begun applying collaboration to new areas of resource management...we were able to make long-lasting positive progress."


Partners from National Roster of ECR Practitioners
Paul De Morgan, Resolve, Inc.
Elaine Hallmark, Hallmark Pacific Group, LLC.
Gregg Walker, Oregon State University
Steve Daniels, Utah State University

U.S. Institute Project Lead
Larry Fisher, Ph.D.
Senior Program Manager
Public Lands and Natural Resources
Phone: (520) 901-8544; FAX: (520) 670-5530
Email:; Website:

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