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Collaborating for Healthy Forests and Communities: A Guide for Building Partnerships Among Diverse Interests

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  • There are many reasons for building an alliance among agencies and citizens in forest and rangeland communities. In the big picture, the purpose is primarily to reach decisions that are objectively better. Essentially, the quality of decisions is improved by a multi-agency effort that includes a role for citizens and an environment in which all can interact. From a practical standpoint, a collaborative approach provides the best strategy for restoring and maintaining healthy landscapes. Partnerships offer opportunities to experiment with management approaches, capitalize on local knowledge, and build support for decisions. Examples of working partnerships can be found in a wide-range of management settings. There is no single formula for building a partnership and partnerships per se are not a panacea; however, through extensive research, we have found a set of characteristics that are common to most partnership success stories. They are described in this guide to be used as a practical reference for agency personnel and citizens who seek to improve collaborative efforts in local communities.
  • This field guide is a companion to the video program Collaborating for Healthy Forests and Communities: Building Partnerships Among Diverse Interests. The video showcases on-the-ground experiences of federal and state land managers, as well as community leaders, who are working together to overcome barriers, find agreement, and build partnerships. The field guide provides more detail and a practical approach that managers and local citizens can use to adapt the most useful tools and strategies to the needs of their own community.
  • Keywords: Communication, Science Delivery, Citizen-Agency Interactions, Fire and Fuels Management, Partnerships, Collaboration
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  • Shindler, Bruce, Ryan Gordon, Sarah McCaffrey, and Eric Toman. 2011. Collaborating for Healthy Forests and Communities: A Guide for Building Partnerships Among Diverse Interests. Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
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  • This field guide was produced by the Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society at Oregon State University with support from the Joint Fire Science Program and USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.



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