$0.00 – $6.00
Consensus Building Institute, Montana Consensus Council and Bureau of Land Management
Facilitated multi-party negotiation over the appropriate environmental, commercial, residential, and other uses of federal lands in the Rocky Mountains
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.
This negotiation commences after the stakeholder committee has completed its first task: to develop a process for guiding the negotiation. Now, the committee must turn to its second task: to negotiate the three key issues that may allow the petition to be postponed and an active conservation plan put into place, in lieu of an EPA listing:
- Federal lands use including the appropriate balance of ranching, forestry, recreation, and conservation;
- Grazing and timber permit buy-outs and compensation for the ranching and forestry industries; and
- Structure of the management process that would monitor the implementation of the agreement.
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 county’s economic base: forestry, ranching, and tourism
Teacher's package includes:
- All of the above (no teaching note currently available)
NOTE: This simulation may be used with or without Federal Lands Management Part I, which is designed to introduce participants to consensus building process design. If participants play Part I first, they will have developed a set of ground rules and a work plan specific to their group. If not, participants may use the ground rules and work plan provided in Part II, which focuses on the substantive issues of the negotiation.
Federal Lands Management II Attributes
|Time required:||2- 3 hours|
|Number of participants:||7|
|Neutral third party present:||Facilitator|
|Teaching notes available:||No|