Implementing adaptive management with multiple stakeholders: Working with scientists, agencies, and public stakeholders
What works and what requires further improvement in the collaborative adaptive management process? We hope that by the end of this session, participants will have gained a clearer understanding of the value of the CAM process and a toolkit of strategies and practices for successful implementation of CAM projects.
In the long term, the benefits of collaborative adaptive management (CAM) will be judged in terms of more informed land management decisions and stronger working relationships between agencies, stakeholders, and scientists. However, there are many barriers to successful collaboration for adaptive management including different ideas and expectations about what forest health is and acceptable methods of achieving it, decision making structures within scientific and management agencies, lack of participation by community members, problems participating due to time and funding constraints, and the short time frames of the funding cycle compared to the longer term nature of experimentation.
SNAMP overcame some of these barriers through early involvement of stakeholders, holding face to face meetings with scientists, stakeholders, and managers to adjust the AM experiment to manager and stakeholder expectations. As research progressed, a variety of in-person and distance based methods were used to maintain collaboration including science intensive meetings for those most involved in the project. More basic outreach presentations were made to local organizations by UC Cooperative Extension to involve those who otherwise would not have been. Having UCCE, which is a trusted local institution, involved helped increase the breadth of outreach. Also important was the stance of UC as third party neutral which allowed for those who may not have chosen to be involved directly with management agencies to be part of the process.
Involvement was key to the ability to transfer research results to managers and stakeholders so that the AM loop can be closed (as is the long-term commitment of agencies to adaptive management). SNAMP facilitated information transfer through development of many types of research publications, from peer-reviewed, to reports, science briefs and newsletters as well as training managers and stakeholders in facilitation and collaboration skills.