$0.00 – $6.00
Consensus Building Institute, Montana Consensus Council, and Bureau of Land Management
Facilitated multi-party negotiation over the appropriate decision-making process for a federal land management dispute
Jackson County covers 4,000 square miles in the northern Rocky Mountains and is home to about 10,000 people. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management manage more than 70 percent of the land. For more than 100 years, the timber industry and ranchers have relied on federal lands to conduct their businesses. But newcomers to Jackson County and national environmental groups are challenging this relationship, often leading to contentious battles both in and out of the courtroom.
Last month, the Coalition to Preserve the Watershed (CPW) announced its intent to petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Rocky Mountain spotted trout as threatened and/or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Watersheds in Jackson County form the heart of the spotted trout’s fairly limited range. CPW claims that current land-use practices, chiefly cattle grazing and timber harvesting, have severely harmed water quality and habitat integrity.
At the request of a concerned group of citizens in Jackson County, the State Office of Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building asked the identifiable stakeholders, particularly the CPW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to suspend further action for 30 days and allow an impartial facilitator to conduct a situation assessment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would help fund a consensus-seeking process if the situation assessment indicated that the key stakeholders were willing to participate in good faith, and that the process might result in a mutual gain outcome, rather than the all-too-familiar win/lose outcome of the standard contentious ESA listing process.
J. Jones, a well-respected facilitator from the state office, conducted the situation assessment. Based on the results of the situation assessment, Jones has recommended that a core group of representatives from key stakeholder groups convene to design a collaborative process and then negotiate the substantive issues. The first goal of the stakeholder committee is to develop a process for guiding the negotiation. At least five critical issues must be discussed in depth:
- What basic rules of conduct should be employed?
- Who should be at the table?
- What is the decision rule for the negotiations?
- How will scientific and technical disagreements be handled?
- What is the time frame for the negotiations?
Participant materials include:
- General instructions for all participants
Confidential instructions for:
- The Coalition to Preserve the Watershed, an anti-logging and grazing group, made up of members of several local, state, and regional environmental organizations
- The Rocky Mountain Forest Association, a coalition of logging associations and wood product mills
- The Western Stock Growers' Association, an organization representing ranch families, united for the common purpose of protecting and promoting the beef and sheep industries
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency with jurisdiction over threatened and endangered species, on private or public lands
- The U.S. Forest Service, the federal agency that determines the amount and type of logging allowed, and issues grazing permits for forested land within the watershed
- The Jackson County Commission, which is responsible for numerous county functions, including promoting the country's economic base: forestry, ranching, and tourism
Teacher's package includes:
- All of the above (no teaching note currently available)
Note: This simulation is designed to introduce participants to consensus building process design. It may be used with or without Federal Lands Management II, in which the participants negotiate the substantive land management issues.
Federal Lands Management I Attributes
|Time required:||Less than 30 minutes|
|Number of participants:||7|
|Neutral third party present:||Facilitator|
|Teaching notes available:||No|