Examining and Evaluating Collaborative Methods and Strategies within the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) (2014)

Client Organization: 
National Forest Foundation
Client is confirmed: 
yes
Project Location : 
National (13 sites)
Summary of Project Idea: 

This Master's Project explores the character of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) as viewed through the experiences of the 2012 cohort of National Forests awarded the designation. The project aims to identify how CFLRP has changed land management and devise recommendations for existing sites and future initiatives.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that between 65 and 82 million acres of the National Forest System need restoration. In their view, a science-based restoration program organized and directed by collaborative multiparty groups is most likely to be effective at achieving ecological, economic and social benefits.   Established by the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009, CFLRP extends funds on a competitive basis to selected National Forests to carry out this process. As viewed through the lens of our research, the program presents site- and policy-level challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve its significant potential for improving the situation facing the forests. 

The team visited sites and conducted supplementary telephone interviews to explore the perspectives of participants in the projects. Site locations include projects in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington. Analysis focused on the following questions:

  • How do the characteristics of each 2012 CFLRP project site affect site-level challenges and the strategies taken to overcome them?
  • How are CFLR sites involving collaborative partners and engaging with their local communities?
  • How are the collaborative groups changing over time and what strategies are being utilized to manage these changes?
  • How is CFLRP affecting economic development in the communities near project sites?
  • How are sites approaching ecological restoration when planning and implementing projects?
  • How does the landscape scale of the program affect the process of collaboration and resource management?
  • What broader lessons about policy-driven collaboration and resource management can be drawn from CFLRP?

Project findings are targeted to stakeholders at CFLRP sites as well as those involved with collaborative groups not in the CRLFP program.  We also present findings intended to inform the U.S. Forest Service and policymakers with an interest in innovative land management. The team will share findings through a final report, a webinar presentation, and web-based resources.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Professional Career Development Benefits: 
  • Exposure to, and networking opportunities with, a wide variety of partner organizations.
  • Analyzing and developing expertise in a cutting-edge land-management initiative with both private and public agency components.
  • Presenting findings at nationwide meeting of CFLRPs.
  • Gaining practical skills regarding collaborative natural resource management.
  • Greater understanding of the factors that promote collaborative management.
Identify expected products/deliverables: 
  • Provide a cross-case analysis of the collaborative structures and methods of CFLRP.
  • Generate best practices regarding CFLRP and relate these to what is already known in literature on collaboration and natural resource management.
  • Create a website with the above information for utilization by land managers, CFLRP sites, NFF staff, and additional collaboration structures.
  • Potentially present findings at a workshop lead by NFF for representatives of all CFLRP sites and the US Forest Service. Alternatively, present findings at regional CFLRP workshops.
Contact full name: 
Karen DiBari
Job title: 
Director, Conservation Connect
City: 
Missoula
State or Country: 
MT
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Steve Yaffee
Contact Phone: 
(406) 542-2805
Advisor Confirmed: 
yes
Contact information: 
U-M faculty member
Our Organization has been an SNRE master's project client in a previous year
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Jesse Antuma, MS Conservation Ecology
  • Bryce Esch, MS Conservation Ecology/Environmental Policy and Planning 
  • Brendan Hall, MPP/MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Elizabeth Munn, MS Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Frank Sturges, MPP/MS Environmental Policy and Planning
Mary Mitsos, Vice President, Conservation Programs is a SNRE alumnus
Project Status: 
Past Project