View Full Version : Collaboration Workshop REPORT 3/06

Sandee McCullen
03-19-2006, 08:34 PM
Authentic Collaboration Workshop hosted by Center for Biological Diversity and facilitated by a couple from the University of Virginia.
March 18, 2006
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ

The morning started at 4:30 a.m. to allow me to get to Flagstaff by 8:00 a.m. Was not looking forward to this trip especially following having learned CBD was hosting a closed, by invitation only meeting Friday afternoon to discuss what to do with OHV to put it in short version. The registration for this meeting intimated they were discussing how to put OHV into designated areas and how to discredit the Evaluation Tree process. When they were confronted about the closed door meetings to counter the Collaboration process they jumped around the bush stating they were simply having their normal meetings just like OHV does. When I made note of the fact we do not have closed meetings directed at planning the defeat of the radical environmentals she backed up. She actually apologized but the outside fact is CBD had nothing directly related to the Collaboration Workshop.

Frank Dukes, PhD and Karen Firehock of the University of Virginias Institute for Environmental Negotiation presented a GREAT collaboration process workshop. I am very glad I attended.

I know I learned a lot and I feel the other side also learned a lot. Dont get me wrong, I dont trust these guys any further than I can throw them but for the first time I actually left a meeting with these guys with a handshake and friendly words. That in itself is a first step.

First: Goals of the Workshop
Develop authentic decision processes
Evaluate the likelihood of success and gauge interest in participating
Define and re-frame issues to be resolved
Understand principles and processes for decision making
Obtain and apply the right data to make decisions
Use principled techniques for multi-party negotiation
Deal with difficult participants and intense emotions
Ensure implementation of agreements and on-going evaluation

From there we covered Core Values of Participation; Concerns; Rules of Collaboration; Myths of Collaboration; and the Cautionary Principle. We then went in to specific Problems and Establishing Conditions for Success; How to Conduct a Situation Assessment and Necessary Conditions for Success. They stressed Behavior and Responding to Intense Emotions along with the dos and donts.

We participated in communication skill situations and discussed the potential benefits of conflict. Pursue Interests; Separate People from the problem; Invent Options; Develop Objective Criteria and Encourage Involvement. One issue discussed at some length was interesting to me.. It was strongly suggested to Acknowledge feelings first, then focus on the issues. Be soft on people and hard on the problems.

GOOD SCIENCE was stressed. They also stressed the need to consult or bring in an outside specialist if data sources or types are not acceptable to all parties. The need to access the experts for independent evaluations and plans for monitoring was discussed. Everyone agreed to the ideals of monitoring.

At depth discussions regarding Components of an Effective Adaptive Management Approach as well as those that Signal a Failure.

We discussed previous successful partnerships as well as what went wrong in others. Members from Sky Island Alliance spoke for the animals and OHV clarified OHV vs. ORV. Surprisingly the radicals made off as though they were very surprised that we support staying on trails. We all participated in some interesting communication skill situations and over all had some very open and interesting discussions.

I have the workbook and information. Should anyone be interested in it please let me know.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandee McCullen

03-20-2006, 07:41 AM
Sounds like a big step in the right direction, thanks as always for sharing Sandee

Sandee McCullen
03-20-2006, 08:14 AM
Sounds like a great workshop...

I think we should have a workshop like this for OHV. Would be useful for future public meetings.

This workshop was directed at "collaboration"....... not just a specific group. These Collaborative Workshops are geared toward EVERYONE working together in planning......... whether it's involving the Route Evaluations or Designations or whether it's a specific planning project like developing a plan for an OHV Park at Sycamore.

If others are interested in a "quicky" Collaborative workshop reviewing the steps from this workshop I attended I'd be more than happy to schedule one. It's probably more than I could do in a club meeting in an hour or two but we could certainly do it in 3-4 hours.

I'm heading to Alabama tomorrow for a NOHVCC (National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council) Conference which pursues Education & Communications for motorized recreationists. I have already asked if they would come to Arizona to conduct a workshop. One of the partnerships I'm involved with has received some money specifically for Collaboration or Education/Communication education. Our needs right now are more towards "how to get our people involved" and "how to effectively communicate" rather than the collaborative planning process.

03-20-2006, 10:52 AM
I would be up for whatever passing of the information you got at the collaboration meeting on. Sounds like it was a real good meeting and some good information was passed one.

03-20-2006, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the notes Sandee