Public Involvement in USDA Forest Service Policymaking: A Literature Review

Journal of Forestry, Volume 104, No. 1, 43-49, January/February 2006

William D. Leach, Research Director, Center for Collaborative Policy,
California State University, Sacramento, 815 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Abstract.  This article provides a brief history of public participation in the Forest Service from 1960 to present, and reviews 25 of the most significant empirical studies on the topic. Twenty one broadly defined keys to success are identified in the literature, and then organized in terms of process design traits, participant traits, and contextual traits. The most frequently cited factors in each category are, respectively, effective facilitation, active participation by agency staff, and support from agency-wide policies and administrators. Summarized findings suggest several attributes the agency can look for when selecting individuals to facilitate collaborative planning processes involving multiple stakeholders.

Keywords: cooperative conservation, collaborative stewardship, conflict resolution, consensus, partnerships

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