The Center for Collaborative Policy, a program of California State University, Sacramento, offers services to parties seeking collaborative solutions to complex public policy issues at the state, regional, and local levels. Recent Center projects include:
- Matilija Dam Fine Sediment Management Study Group
- City of Sierra Madre Fire Department Mediation
- Yolo County Realignment Community Strategic Plan Workshop
- Santa Clara County Open Space Authority Preliminary Strategic Planning
- Invasive Spartina Project
- San Francisco Bay Joint Venture Data Integration Workshop
- Disaster Healthcare Volunteer Deployment Operations Manaual Workshop
- Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) National Summit
- Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Scientific Review Committee
- Medical Reserve Corps Full Scale Exercise
- San Francisco Baylands Goals Facilitation
- Unified Program Assessment and Strategic Plan
- Unified Program Training Framework
- California Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision
- Piedmont Unified School District Long-Range Planning
- California Coastal Commission 5-Year Strategic Plan Development
- San Francisco Community Engagement Benchmarking Study
- Napa County Regional Housing Needs Allocation Process
- Fresno Utility Advisory Committee
- California Condor, Golden Eagle and Wind Energy Workshop
- Citizens Redistricting Commission
- California Mental Health Planning Council Strategic Plan
- Census 2010: Reaching California’s Hard to Count Populations
- Owens Lakebed Master Plan Underway
- United States Forest Service Sierra Cascades Dialog
- United States Forest Service Regional Roundtable on National Planning Rule
- California Bay Delta Vision Project
- California’s Alert and Warning System Collaborative
- Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project
- State Water Board Strategic Plan
- Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Plan
- Interagency Collaboration for Local Emergency Services and Homeland Security
- Lower Truckee River TMDL
- Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District / West Sacramento Transition Plan
- San Francisco Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment (ENCHIA)
- South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project
- Lahontan Water District/Truckee River Sediment Collaborative
- Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Scientific Review Committee
- Anza-Borrego Desert Integrated Regional Water Management Plan
- Bay Area Water Forum
- Bordessa Ranch Conservation Easement Public Engagement
- 21st Century Invasive Pest Management Symposium Series
- California Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities
- California Levee Vegetation Research Program (CLVRP)
- California Roundtable for Central Valley Flood Management
- California Water Boards Facilitation Training
- California Water Plan Update 2013
- Catch Accountability through Compensated Halibut Project
- Desert Tortoise Recovery Planning Assessment and Recovery Implementation Team Management & Facilitation Coaching
- Dinkey Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project
- Imperial Integrated Regional Water Management Plan
- Madera Integrated Regional Water Management Group
- Mokelumne Avoided Cost Analysis
- Mono Basin Stream Flows Facilitation
- Napa County Groundwater Resources Advisory Committee
- North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Agricultural Lands Discharger Program
- Northern Sacramento Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP)
- Owens Lake Master Plan Process
- San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy Restoration Project Assessment and Communication & Outreach Plan
- San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Implementation
- San Juan Water District Annual Board Workshops
- Sierra Cascades Dialog
- Southern Sierra Integrated Regional Water Management
- West Campus/ Saint Hope Design Team Facilitation
For two decades stakeholders in Ventura County have been seeking agreement on how to remove the aging Matilija Dam on the Ventura River. While they were successful in developing an award-winning feasibility study with the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2009, disagreements emerged regarding the removal and management of toxic sediments behind Matilija Dam. CCP convened a study group for the State Coastal Conservancy, a major funder of restoration efforts in the Ventura River watershed, to seek consensus on a set of options for removal of these sediments. The mediation process began in 2010 and concluded with a final report a year later. CCP conducted an issues assessment at the outset, interviewing major stakeholders. The assessment resulted in a proposed study group and discussion process design that was adopted by the project sponsors in October 2010. CCP then facilitated a series of all-day meetings of the study group through early 2011. The result was a set of consensus recommendations for proceeding with an interim dam notching approach, as well as establishment of an independent technical advisory group to develop detailed plans for removal of the resulting toxic sediment while protecting local water supplies.
In spring 2012, CCP mediated the dispute about shifting the City of Sierra Madre Fire Department towards an all-paid staff. The city had historically relied heavily on volunteers to fill critical fire and other public safety roles. However, with the growth of the city over the last twenty years, and pressure from nearby jurisdictions to ‘professionalize’ its fire department, city managers made the decision to make all key fire leadership positions full time/paid—making the future roles of the volunteers unclear. The discussions between the volunteer and paid staff had deteriorated to a point where the City Manager authorized CCP to mediate the dispute in the hopes to ease the transition to the new structure. CCP conducted assessment interviews with all affected leaders in the city and designed a daylong retreat to address the issues. The facilitation was successful in that it allowed the volunteer and paid staff time to address important issues and to design a framework for how to use volunteers in the future. The agreement realized through mediation helped the groups overcome the stalemate, and the city proceeded with the transition.
CCP assisted the Yolo County Probation Chief in convening a high profile collaborative public participation strategic planning/visioning session to address realignment agreements that the County had developed through their Community Corrections Partnership. The Partnership consisted of the Sheriff, Probation Officer, Chief of the Courts, Public Defender, and Attorney General/Prosecutor. Although the statewide movement of certain inmates to local jails from state facilities had begun, and the community at large had not yet engaged on this controversial transition. CCP conducted a confidential assessment of the Partnership members, designed the public workshop/strategic planning process, facilitated the event, and drafted the framework for community engagement on the realignment in the county. Prior to CCP’s involvement, the leadership team had not engaged the public and had not coordinated with community organizations on these issues. With the success of the event, the community strategic framework is the foundational document for subsequent realignment activities in the county. Additionally, CaliforniaForward and other key organizations reference the community engagement process as a template for other counties to address realignment statewide.
In early 2012, CCP assisted the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority to undertake early strategic planning efforts for the agency. The Authority was poised to launch a Conservation Vision that would provide the basis for a new strategic implementation plan. They requested CCP’s assistance to design a process to integrate the two efforts. CCP interviewed key members of the Board and Citizens Advisory Committee, and designed and facilitated a visioning process for both the staff and the Authority’s Board and Citizens Advisory Committee members. CCP also provided consultation to the General and Assistant General Managers on how to integrate the Conservation Vision with the proposed implementation plan. Finally, CCP worked closely with the Authority Communications Director and communications consultants for the agency to develop an innovative and robust outreach component for the Conservation Vision process to be completed in late 2013.
For the past ten years the State Coastal Conservancy has committed to eradication of the invasive plant species Spartina alterniflora in San Francisco Bay as an essential foundation for restoration of natural habitat for endangered species like the California Clapper Rail. CCP assisted the Conservancy staff with the improvement of the management of the Invasive Spartina Program, as well as to develop stronger and more effective project management systems with the project’s chief consultant team. This project commenced in spring 2011 and continued through 2012. CCP provided one-on-one organizational development sessions with the Coastal Conservancy managers, with the Invasive Spartina Project (ISP) manager, interviewed all ISP staff, held group sessions with ISP staff, met with Conservancy senior and project level managers, and facilitated stakeholder and technical advisory committee meetings. CCP’s efforts helped improve the overall management of the Project. Participants in the large meetings included ISP contractors, environmental advocacy organizations, resource agency staff, and wetland scientists familiar with the ISP program and approach. The ISP has continued to reach close to 100% success in eradication of Spartina alterniflora from San Francisco Bay, provide ongoing monitoring, and to undertake an ambitious and effective revegetation effort in treated areas all around the Bay.
In partnership with more than 70 scientists throughout the region, the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture (SFBJV) crafted the first phase of a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for the region from 2011 through 2012. Utilization of the plan required the establishment and maintenance of protocols to ensure that diverse databases were aggregated or integrated where feasible. Part of the challenge that prevented database aggregation to date was that resource agencies differed in how they updated or maintained their databases. CCP helped the Joint Venture and the State Coastal Conservancy design and facilitate a one-day workshop for the San Francisco Bay resource database producers, managers, and users to start to develop a process to integrate these resources. The workshop focused on mutual education about existing resources, as well as identification of logical opportunities and constraints for database aggregation, integration, or analysis. CCP worked closely with SFBJV staff to design an agenda for the day and facilitated the plenary. CCP also facilitated one of three sub-groups during the course of the day. The SFBJV continues to support database integration efforts among Bay area agencies and users.
CCP assisted the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) December 2010 through April 2011 to engage local jurisdictions to create procedures to send or receive disaster healthcare volunteers across county lines during catastrophic events. CCP provided collaborative public participation, training, and program management and organizational support. EMSA developed the Deployment Operations Manual (Manual) to help jurisdictions develop procedures to deploy requested healthcare volunteers to counties impacted by catastrophe. CCP and the Workshop Design Team planned the 2-day workshop to familiarize participants with the contents of the Manual. A Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant tabletop exercise facilitated on Day 2 tested functionality and the participants’ ability to use the Manual. The workshop included Operation Area Emergency managers, Medical Reserve Corps coordinators, Medical Health Operation Area coordinators, and EMSA Disaster Medical staff. CCP consulted with the Workshop Design Team to design the workshop, investigate speakers, and identify attendees. CCP created the HSEEP exercise, as well as managed all logistics for both days. CCP facilitated the workshop and conducted the tabletop exercise.
The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) engaged CCP to convene key stakeholders to collaboratively update hospital emergency response policies in 2011. EMSA is responsible for the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). In preparation for updating the HICS Guidebook, EMSA convened key stakeholders throughout the United States to review the current HICS manual, discuss lessons learned from the use of HICS in acute care healthcare facilities, identify improvements to specific areas in the HICS Guidebook, and review current regulatory compliance efforts to ensure the HICS appropriately addresses the regulatory changes. CCP worked with the project funder, client, and consultant to design a summit to elicit information from healthcare experts on the efficacy and potential for the HICS Guidebook. CCP facilitated the 2-day summit and coordinated logistics with Sacramento State’s College of Continuing Education.
CCP facilitates the Alameda County Community Development Agency’s scientific review committee (SRC) for the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (Altamont Pass). The SRC advises the County on how to reduce high levels of raptor mortality resulting from wind turbine operation in the Altamont Pass. The CCP facilitation team developed a charter for the SRC and began facilitating SRC meetings in 2006. Following a legal settlement in 2007, the SRC was charged with advising the County and the participating wind companies to reduce avian mortalities by 50% by the fall 2012. The CCP facilitation team provided meeting design and facilitation for all SRC meetings, as well as ongoing strategic consultation with the parties. CCP created a website for the SRC to share information about its meetings and monitoring efforts in the Altamont Pass. CCP has also mediated disputes among science committee and monitoring team members.
The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) engaged CCP to provide program management and organizational support for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) full-scale exercise conducted in February and June 2012. EMSA sponsored a 2-day disaster training and full-scale exercise to train MRC units on the Disaster Healthcare Volunteer (DHV) Deployment Operations Manual. The exercise was also designed to test the MRC on deployment procedures in response to a request for assistance for healthcare service needs from a neighboring jurisdiction. CCP initially provided logistical support to register, house, feed, and transport over 100 individuals participating in the exercise. However, to facilitate coordination issues between EMSA, the exercise consultant team, and the design team, CCP assumed a more strategic leadership role and coordinated the development of the training and exercise functions. As a result the participants considered the 2-day training and exercise event successful.
The State Coastal Conservancy (Coastal Conservancy) developed a multi-stakeholder science-driven process to incorporate current climate change information into the 1999 Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report. CCP assisted the Coastal Conservancy to develop the overall structure of the update process and developed a charter for the Update process that the Update’s Steering Committee approved in early 2012. CCP worked closely with the project leads to design and facilitate a plenary of scientists and invited stakeholders and to create a work group process that will result in a report on the state of the science on climate change adaptation pertinent to the Bay shoreline habitat. This report is a truly collaborative document representing the input and authorship of over 50 scientists with recommendations on priority wetland restoration areas in light of sea level rise and other climate-induced changes in the Bay. As of early 2013, the report is also on track to be completed on schedule.
In recognition of the Unified Program’s 20th year of operation, Cal/EPA engaged CCP to conduct an evaluation of the program in preparation for updating the Unified Program Administration and Advisory Group’s (UPAAG) Strategic Plan from February through June 2012. CCP reviewed current statutes and regulations to understand the intent of the Unified Program, conducted an assessment of key stakeholders to assess the current effectiveness, made recommendations to align current operations with the goals or to potentially amend the statute if the Unified Program had evolved so as to become even more effective, and facilitated the update of the 2009 Strategic Plan. CCP also wrote a report to the Secretary of Cal/EPA evaluating the Unified Program. The strategic planning process initially included a few key players, but CCP help expand participation to include representation from the regulated community. Ultimately participants included UPAAG members representing local Certified Unified Program Agencies, Cal/EPA, the State Water Board, California Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control. CCP provided the project design, developed the assessment questionnaire, conducted the assessment interviews, and facilitated the 2-day strategic planning meeting. From the 2-day meeting the participants developed both a 5-year Strategic Plan and a 1-year Work Plan. Cal/EPA and the UPAAG endorsed both documents.
CCP provided Cal/EPA with program management and organizational support to develop a Training Framework (Framework) for the Unified Program from July 2010 through Mach 2012. Cal/EPA wanted to establish a comprehensive recommended training framework to meet the Certified Unified Program Agencies and Participating Agencies staff training and program needs, and as well as the training requirements for Unified Program Agencies as defined in state laws. CCP assisted Cal/EPA to convene a process that included the 28 local staff representing the six programs across the state, plus Unified Program headquarters staff including representatives from Cal/EPA, the State Water Board, California Department of Toxic and Substance Control, the State Fire Marshall and California Emergency Management Agency. The Unified Program was designed to consolidate, coordinate, and make the administrative requirements, permits, inspections, and enforcement activities consistent for the six environmental and emergency response programs. Cal/EPA oversees the implementation of the Unified Program as a whole and works to develop a consistently trained workforce statewide. CCP assisted with the project design and facilitated the working groups and development of the Framework. Cal/EPA and the Agencies’ Forum Board endorsed the Framework. Cal/EPA is planning another phase to further develop the Framework.
CCP assisted the California Natural Resources Agency to collaboratively develop a strategic vision for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the California Fish and Game Commission (F&GC) using visioning processes, public participation and dispute resolution. The participants engaged in the visioning exercise September 2011 through April 2012. The Natural Resources Agency convened a 7-member Executive Committee, a 7-member Blue Ribbon Citizens Commission, and a 49-member Stakeholder Advisory Group to develop a strategic vision that would address improving and enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of, and the F&GC to fulfill their public trust responsibilities for protecting and managing the state's fish and wildlife. CCP assisted the Project Manager in developing the process design, and designed and facilitated the Blue Ribbon Citizen Commission meetings, the Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings and topic-specific work groups. CCP was able to engage DFW and stakeholders in the process. In addition, CCP staff conducted an assessment of current and former stakeholders to identify barriers to implementing past recommendations. The Strategic Vision was released in April 2012 along with the Barriers to Implementation report.
CCP worked with a collaborative governance team to engage the educational community in long-range planning for the Piedmont Unified School District in the Bay Area. In 2009, the School Board and Superintendent wanted to engage the community on the future of the District in anticipation of impending reduced revenue to ensure the long-term viability of the Districts goals and priorities. CCP provided ongoing consultation with school board members and the superintendent on collaborative governance and how best to engage the public. CCP guided the governance group on strategic outreach to ensure that a range of community members participated in the effort. CCP facilitated two large dynamic community-wide meetings complemented by the services of a graphic recorder in an effort to record the future vision for the school district and to communicate the complex budget information to the diverse group of participants. The Piedmont Unified School District adopted the long-range plan and priorities to use as criteria to inform its budgetary and programmatic decision-making.
The California Coastal Commission, one of the most highly visible regulatory bodies in California, invited CCP to facilitate a strategic planning process in the spring 2011. Three factors were at work in the Commission’s decision to develop a new strategic plan for the agency: the Commission’s long-serving Executive Director was close to retirement, the Commission faced potential reductions in funding and resources, and the Commission had not completed a strategic plan since 1997. The CCP team worked closely with the Commission’s deputy directors and appointed staff to develop a new strategic plan for the agency. Due to budget constraints, CCP’s process design focused on intensive coaching of key Commission staff to lead the development of an internal needs and issues assessment, and CCP facilitated one of two all-day staff retreats. The staff used the retreats to develop agreements on strategic goals for the Commission. At the end of 2012, Commission staff completed the draft plan, with early review and editing support from the CCP team.
The City and County of San Francisco selected the Center and San Francisco partners Community Focus and Public Policy Collaboration to perform a Community Engagement Benchmarking Study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate best practices to inform San Francisco’s community engagement for bond programs.The Center’s team will conduct a literature review and analyze at least three other jurisdictions in the country to make recommendations for San Francisco’s future community engagement programs. Gina Bartlett from the Center, Malka Kopell from Community Focus, and Nicholas Dewar from Public Policy Collaboration are excited to kick off this effort in January.
In partnership with Envirocom, the Center is providing facilitation, negotiation and public participation services to the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency’s six member jurisdictions (American Canyon, Yountville, Calistoga, St. Helena, Napa City and Napa County) toward the creation of a successful Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process that will be implemented from 2014 to 2022. RHNA is a state mandated process for determining how many housing units, including affordable units, each community must plan to accommodate.
California law requires regional councils of government in California to determine the existing and projected regional housing needs. In the Bay Area, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) performs this function. ABAG is required to determine each county’s share of projected regional housing need.
The jurisdictions decided to launch a sub-regional process, where they develop their own methodology to apply to the allocation process which can increase local control and allow for more flexibility in making adjustments to jurisdictional allocations.
This project included an assessment, where confidential meetings were held with local elected leaders and city administrators; focus groups were held with stakeholder groups (affordable housing, neighborhood groups, developers, wine industry/agriculture, local business, schools, mobile home parks). An online survey was also created to seek input from all other interested members of the public. Two public workshops were held during the first phase of the effort both educate participants as to the process at hand and seek their feedback on the importance of various statutory factors. (For example, a factor with high importance to all was “protect prime agricultural land.”) Approximately 60 people attended each of the first two workshops. A final public workshop was held in the May 2012 to receive public comment on the subregion’s draft methodology. The Center and Envirocom will assist the subregion with any final negotiations through the end of 2012.
The Center provided strategic design and facilitation services to the City of Fresno’s public Utilities Advisory Committee from 2006 – 2011. The volunteer citizens, appointed by their City Council members and the Mayor were convened to set and review annual and five-year utility rates, urban growth management, financial and capital plans. The Utility Advisory Committee presented their last 5-year rate plan for the fiscal years 2012-2016 in the Spring of 2011. The members were proud of their proposal which was protective of both the integrity of the utility system and Fresno’s rate payers.
The Center designed and facilitated a 65-person, two-day workshop in December 2011 which was jointly sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the California Department of Fish and Game. It was the first time stakeholders from the wind energy development, environmental nongovernmental community had been convened by the agencies for the purpose of exploring the challenges associated with wind energy development in the Tehachapi and Southern Sierra Mountains and protection of California condors and golden eagles. The focus of the workshop was information sharing, understanding of the respective interests of participating stakeholders, and identification of ideas and resources the participants had to creatively address the various issues they face. A pre workshop assessment was conducted which provided significant insight to the stakeholders and informed the design of the event. A ‘design team’ was also convened to vet the workshop approach which included member from the wind energy and environmental NGO communities. The work conducted through the design team process spurred considerable dialogue within each stakeholder community deepening the quality of the conversation that took place at the workshop. The Workshop resulted in robust, prioritized lists of suggested future actions for both condor and golden eagle issues. The suggestions were taken by the agency sponsors to assist them in proposing next steps.
The 14-member Commission is charged with redrawing California's Senate, Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and Congressional districts based on information gathered during the 2010 census. The Commission had the Center create a comprehensive, multi-level civic engagement process designed to address the Commission’s mission. The Center also designed and convened a statewide session to receive information about outreach efforts by local and statewide organizations.
The California Mental Health Planning Council, mandated by federal and state statute, is a multicultural consumer, family, provider, and advocate organization providing oversight to the California Department of Mental Health regarding accessibility, availability, and accountability of the State's mental health system. Sarah facilitated a two-day strategic planning retreat in January 2011. To prepare for the event, the Center conducted a situation assessment, interviewing key stakeholders and examining how the Planning Council’s efforts matched with their federal and state mandates. The strategic planning event, held in San Diego, began with a scan of the external environment, reviewed and updated the group’s mission and vision statements, set 5-year goals and began to craft actions to implement the goals. A professional graphic recorder, Emily Shepard, assisted the group on the first day of the session. Participants spoke earnestly about how powerful the visuals were and how much they deepened their experience.
In April 2011 a two-day implementation session was held with the group’s seven work groups to development individual Work Plans, each tied to the new goals developed in January.
Census 2010 is the most important in California’s history. Without a full count the State faces a potential loss of a Congressional seat and billions of dollars in much needed federal funding. At the same time, California’s unique diversity, density and sheer size present significant challenges in achieving a complete count in Census 2010. California is home to 12 percent of the nation’s population but more than 30 percent of what Census experts term Hard to Count (HTC). Further, due to the mortgage crisis and high unemployment levels, there is likely to be an increase in HTC areas.
In response to the extraordinary need to ensure a complete count, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commissioned the California Complete Count Committee (CCCC). This statewide committee brings together public and private sector leaders to assist with Census advocacy and outreach. To coordinate the CCCC and state government Census efforts with the US Census Bureau and local government efforts the Governor appointed a director of the Complete Count Effort (CCE), staffed from within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). OPR contracted with Sacramento State, Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP) to help achieve outreach goals and implement the statewide strategy.
The Census outreach strategy provides a framework and principles supporting expenditures in the most effective ways and builds upon best practices established during the “California, You Count!” Census 2000 campaign. The 2000 campaign developed and implemented innovative grassroots outreach resulting in a Census questionnaire return rate exceeding national standards.
The State’s 2010 Census effort is based on the following best practices:
- Conduct outreach at the grassroots level
- Establish close partnerships and coordination with the Bureau, counties, cities, and community based and faith based organizations
- Target outreach invested in areas and populations least likely to respond
- Locally produce paid-media messages in culturally appropriate, native language
- Deliver messages through individuals trusted within the HTC communities
- Conduct high touch and high impact outreach events within HTC communities
- Ensure Governor’s Office, Cabinet Secretaries, and State Agencies and Departments commitment to provide staff and make outreach resources available to the campaign
- Locate Census Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) (sites where community members can receive assistance in filling out their Census forms) in the areas where people are least likely to respond
- Staff QACs with trusted individuals able to provide culturally appropriate aid in native languages
CCP staff assisted the Governor’s Office in planning a Statewide Readiness Assessment, which included convening 20 regional public meetings throughout the State to learn what would best serve each community. The public meetings focused on identifying local Trusted Messengers, locations for QACs and local effective Media outlets. The public meeting design was as followed: informational and background presentations from both the State and the US Census Bureau, interactive media map where participants offered their input on a large wall map, small group discussion on trusted messengers and table report backs. Early engagement of the HTC communities in California indentified key gaps including a need for the State to coordinate outreach efforts across sectors, a need for templates and other materials to be available to those assisting the effort, and a need for separate county support and resources to organize complete count efforts. This feedback informed the decision to provide a separate county funding stream and resulted in development of web based outreach resources.
After completing the 20 regional meetings CCP assisted with the implementation of the statewide outreach strategy. The strategy focused on leveraging partnerships and resources to reach the hardest to count communities. Staff worked to coordinate efforts throughout the state by partnering with foundations, non-profits, elected officials and the counties to identify outreach gaps while avoiding duplication with other efforts. The team worked to create relevant and California specific outreach materials, building toolkits for targeted outreach.
The critical outreach period began in January 2010. CCP staff assisted in creating tools and outreach resources such as information webcasts, sector toolkits and outreach events. CCP staff helped coordinate events in some of the HTC counties for “Be Californian, Be Counted” day on March 20, 2010.
A sector approach, with tailored methods for key groups included:
- State agencies
- Elected officials
- Non Profit/Philanthropies
- Grant Makers
- Faith Based
- Caseworks and Social Workers
- Disabled Community
- Senior Citizens
For more information on the efforts of the California Complete Count effort for the 2010 Census please visit www.californiacompletecount.org and remember Be Californian. Be Counted!
The Center is facilitating a master planning process for the Owens Lakebed in the Eastern Sierra. The Owens Lake, which dried up in the 1900s primarily due to water diversions, was once the largest polluter of PM10 in the western United States. Dust control measures have successfully reduced emissions while also enhancing habitat on the lakebed. A diverse group of interests has embarked on a broad collaborative process to develop an Owens Lakebed “Master Plan” in 2010. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, responsible for dust mitigation, has convened the collaborative. California State Lands owns the land under the lakebed while the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District regulates dust mitigation. These entities plus representatives of agriculture, local business, recreation, local, state, federal and tribal government are working together to grapple with the complex lakebed issues. The “Master Plan” will be a document that identifies broadly supported goals and objectives to enhance the Owens Lakebed. The plan will focus on dust mitigation, habitat and wildlife, water efficiency methods, and potential renewable energy development. The outcome will be a collaborative vision for the future of the Owens Lakebed. The decision making Planning Committee will develop the plan and recommend it for adoption by the implementing organizations.
The Center is designing and facilitating a new working group in California: the Sierra-Cascades Dialog Group. The dialog will focus on the future of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades, with a focus on the national forests in these regions. Dialogs provide an opportunity for learning, shared meaning, aligned actions, mutual respect and understanding different perspectives. The dialog will regularly bring together 150-200 public and private land managers and stakeholders to grapple with an “all lands” approach to planning and conservation and lay the foundation for Forest Plan revisions in the West. Participants represent a broad range of stakeholder including all types of government, communities, environmental, water agencies, youth and industry. The outcomes of the dialog will inform future Forest Service decisions.
As the Forest Service revises its national planning rule, the Center worked with Region 5 to design a dynamic session for 300 diverse stakeholders to have a say on the key issues in the new planning rule. The planning rule guides national forests in developing their individual forest management / strategic plans. The planning rule has always been met with controversy and legal challenge. As part of a national collaborative effort, the Center worked with Forest Service staff to design an outreach strategy to ensure all interest groups, including youth, participated in the regional roundtable. The Center conducted simultaneous Workshops in Sacramento, Redding, San Bernardino and Bishop and designed an interactive session engaging participants in small group discussions on topics fundamental to the Forest Plan. The design included video conferencing to link four simultaneous locations and provide consistent messaging from Forest Service leadership. The workshop included an afternoon session for professional stakeholders, planners and Forest Service staff and an evening workshop for the interested public. Lastly, the Center developed independent reports from each meeting venue to inform the planning rule writing team developing the revised rule. In early 2011, the Center will help organize roundtables on the draft planning rule.
Delta Vision was initiated by a Governor’s Executive Order in 2007 to create a long-term vision and implementing plan for the California Bay Delta region, recognizing that the future of the Delta is in jeopardy due to numerous stressors. The Executive Order established a seven person Blue Ribbon Task Force to develop the Vision and a Stakeholder Coordination Group (SCG) to advise the Task Force. The Center’s role in the Delta Vision process was to organize, coordinate and lead stakeholder participation activities. The Center team conducted a major stakeholder assessment at the beginning of the process (75 interviews), planned and facilitated the many SCG work groups and plenary sessions, and worked with the Delta Vision Task Force and staff leadership to formulate the overall strategy and work products. The SCG was ultimately comprised of more than 40 stakeholders representing environmental, water supply, business, community, environmental justice, tribal, local government, agricultural, infrastructure, recreational and other interests. The SCG provided the Blue Ribbon Task Force with scenarios and policy recommendations that contributed to the formation of the Vision as well as the development of the Strategic Plan.
To view the Stakeholder Assessment, see www.csus.edu/ccp/projects/summary/DV_Stakeholder_Assessment_Report.pdf
To view the final report on the Delta Vision, see www.deltavisionfoundation.org/Delta Vision Final.pdf
California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) held 2 workshops in August 2007 to address wireless communications and emergency alert and notification. The information from these workshops supported OES’ efforts to meet the requirements of AB2231 (Pavley), which required a working group to assess existing and future technologies available in the public and private sectors for the expansion of transmission of emergency alerts to the public through a public-private partnership. The first AB 2231 Working Group meeting was held on March 27, 2008. This will be the first meeting in a year-long process that will culminate in a Report to the Legislature as required by AB 2231.
Throughout 2008, the Alert & Warning Work Group convened subject matter experts in government and industry to review current efforts and discuss California's alert systems and capabilities.
The Center for Collaborative Policy was tasked with assisting the work groups in creating a 2009 Report to the Legislature which addressed future plans for a standardized notification system.
More information regarding the California’s Alert and Warning System Collaborative may be found at: http://www.oes.ca.gov/webpage/oeswebsite.nsf/content/
In 1999, northern pike were rediscovered in Lake Davis, a noted world-class trout fishery in eastern Plumas County, California. Pike are a non-native predatory species that have the potential to do irreversible damage to California’s aquatic ecosystems and fisheries.
The Center became involved with the Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project after the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), 1997 pike eradication effort, for unidentifiable reasons was unsuccessful. Due to the highly controversial subject content of the issue and international coverage, the Center was requested to foster a collaborative environment between DFG, the Steering Committee (a group of local Plumas County residents), and the U.S. Forest Service. The goal for involved parties was to restore Lake Davis to a world-class fishery, protect California aquatic ecosystems and fisheries impacted by Lake Davis, eradicate pike from the lake, and build the economy of the local community.
To accomplish these goals, the Center helped DFG conduct public involvement and outreach activities. The process included informational workshops, project newsletters, media promotion, risk communication training, and public involvement in the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Study. The EIR/EIS document was approved and the project initiated without legal challenge.
In spring 2008, Lake Davis was restocked with 11 tons of Eagle Lake rainbow trout and is currently open for fishing and recreation. For more information regarding the Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project please visit: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/northernpike/
For more information on the public involvement process design please contact the Center for Collaborative Policy.
The State Water Resources Control Board (the State Water Board) was created by the Legislature in 1967. The mission of the Water Board is to ensure the highest reasonable quality for waters of the State, while allocating those waters to achieve the optimum balance of beneficial uses. The joint authority of water allocation and water quality protection enables the Water Board to provide comprehensive protection for California's waters.
The Center worked with the Water Boards to engage key stakeholders in updating and significantly restructuring the Boards’ strategic plan. The update process included two large scale Summits, one for 100+ internal participants and 90+ external stakeholders. Using material generated from these events, CCP worked with Board staff to create concepts for review at the regional level. CCP conducted regional outreach sessions in all Board Regions and compiled summary information for use in further revisions.
CCP facilitated various internal meetings to assist staff in crafting new text and formats for the plan.
CCP next facilitated an additional pubic meeting with the Water Quality Coordinating Council, composed of key Water Board executives and Governor appointees and attended by the interested pubic.
Text received one more revision and a final public comment meeting, led by CCP, was conducted in February 2008.
The current plan has received high marks from stakeholders as well as oversight bodies such as the Little Hoover Commission.
CCP is now assisting the Board in moving to implementation and evaluation phases of the plan.
More about this project and all supporting materials may be found at: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/strategicplan/2007update.html.
The Center facilitates a 20-member collaborative guiding development and implementation of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Plan. Prior to initiating the collaborative, CCP conducted an impartial assessment of issues and concerns related to water supply and groundwater management to learn if and how stakeholders might want to address these issues. Based on the results of these interviews, CCP recommended forming a Basin Advisory Panel to represent stakeholder interests and partner with SCWA to develop a groundwater management plan. The Panel recommended the plan, the first in the County developed using consensus, for adoption in 2007 and is now overseeing implementation of the adopted plan throughout the Sonoma Valley. The Center also facilitates the technical advisory committee, which reviews data, studies, and other technical information to prepare proposals for Panel approval. After the assessment, the Panel developed and approved the groundwater management plan after meeting together for 14 months. In 2008, the Panel begins to oversee implementation.
For more information, visit http://www.scwa.ca.gov/projects/svgroundwater/
The Groundwater Management Plan is available here: http://www.scwa.ca.gov/projects/svgroundwater/management_plan.php
A brief video regarding the project is available below:
Assessment of Collaborative Challenges and Possibilities for Emergency Services and Homeland Security at the Local Level: Discussion Paper
Local providers of homeland security and emergency services and programs face an increasingly complex system of federal and state oversight, operational structures, grant programs, and regulatory requirements. In April of 2006, the Center for Collaborative Policy, in partnership with the Institute for Local Government’s Collaborative Governance Initiative, convened a process to engage the user community at the local level with key state and federal agency representatives to help discover and define the needs of local officials dealing with multiple emergency management and homeland security challenges – specifically with regard to requirements for public engagement and other key stakeholder interaction across multiple grant programs and jurisdictions. A focus group workshop and subsequent interviews uncovered concerns that the administrative apparatus at the federal and state levels currently does not adequately support the broad mandate of local governments for all-hazards emergency management. The direct outcome of the stakeholder discourse was development of a discussion paper in May 2007, An Assessment of Collaborative Challenges and Possibilities for Emergency Services and Homeland Security at the Local Level.
The purpose of the 2007 discussion paper is to help local governments better address the complexities of emergency services and homeland security through the use of the emerging and relevant tools of collaborative planning, management and problem solving, multi-stakeholder consensus building, and strategies for public involvement. While the assessment does not evaluate a specific program, it is intended to reveal stakeholder insights on where public participation and collaborative techniques have potential to support the challenges faced by local-level emergency managers. It also offers recommendations that provide a foundation for further dialogue about how to respond the identified challenges of governance, coordination, funding, and capacity building. The discussion paper concludes by proposing eight areas for further elaboration and action, which include convening a diverse statewide forum of government jurisdictions, developing a template for stakeholder involvement, increasing public awareness and participation, training, linking new and existing networks, providing collaborative policy development tools, developing strategic planning templates at each level of government to accommodate public involvement, and exploring interest to initiate a dialogue among statewide associations of public officials.
This project was partially supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
The Truckee River is one of the most complex and complicated rivers in the western U.S. It has an extraordinary range of demands placed on it throughout a reach that by comparison to other major western rivers, is relatively small (approximately 140 miles).
Truckee River users include power generators, municipal, and recreational users in California and Nevada, residents and businesses in the Truckee Meadows (Cities of Reno and Sparks, and Washoe County), farmers and ranchers in eastern California and western Nevada including the Lahontan Valley, Federal military facilities, State and Federal fish and wildlife agencies, and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT), who steward Pyramid Lake and depend on the river as the only source of inflow and support of culturally significant fish species. A significant portion of the Truckee River is diverted by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority to serve the water needs of the Truckee Meadows region. A significant amount of wastewater from the Truckee Meadows is treated at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility and is subsequently returned as treated effluent back to the Truckee River, upstream of the area known as the “Vista Reefs”. The Truckee River is currently dependant on these return flows and through the pending Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA), is expected to remain dependant on these flows for some time. Nonetheless, the discharge of and dependence on effluent for river flows is not a desirable condition to the PLPT and to several water using jurisdictions in and near the Lahontan Valley.
The Cities of Reno and Sparks, Nevada (Cities) have proposed to conduct a “Third Party Total maximum Daily Load review and potential revision for nutrient loads in the Truckee River in Nevada. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed in principal that this proposal had merit but stipulated that the Cities must have a comprehensive stakeholder component as part of the effort. They further recommended that the Cities contact CCP to advise and assist them in assessing stakeholder conditions and providing public process recommendations. CCP conducted the assessment between January and June 2007. It proved to be an exceptionally complex case. CCP has recommended that a regional multi-party stakeholder negotiation be conducted in support of the proposed nutrient TMDL as well as other compelling water quality challenges for the Truckee River watershed. NDEP and EPA have reviewed CCP’s recommendations and have expressed their approval to the Cities. The Cities similarly support CCP’s recommendations and the project is initiating in fall 2007.
The report below presents the results of the stakeholder process assessment.
On November 1, 2007 the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) began serving customers in the City of West Sacramento with wastewater conveyance and treatment services. With this arrangement, West Sacramento joins County Sanitation District 1, Sacramento, and Folsom as contributing agencies to SRCSD. The addition of West Sacramento as a contributing agency to SRCSD was the culmination of almost 10 years in planning and construction.
West Sacramento will continue to collect wastewater from its residents and businesses, while SRCSD will convey the wastewater to its 165 million gallons per day state-of-the art treatment plant near Elk Grove. There it will be treated and discharged into the Sacramento River. In addition to treating wastewater, SRCSD’s treatment plant annually turns 25,000 dry tons of biosolids into a Class A fertilizer, generates enough methane gas to provide electricity to fuel 50,000 homes, and provides up to 4 million gallons a day of recycled water to irrigate street medians, commercial landscaping, and park and school sites.
The Center for Collaborative Policy provided organization and facilitation services to SRCSD and West Sacramento in preparing the final Transition Plan for the completion of the process. The Transition Plan addressed issues relating to planning, finance, administration, operations, employee transition, public outreach, and wastewater source control.
For more information please visit: www.srcsd.com
Increasingly, public health and urban planning professionals understand that neighborhood design directly influences human health outcomes. Health impact assessment (HIA) is a new planning and assessment tool being used in Europe and the United States to judge the effects of a policy, program or project on the health of a population. Conceptually similar to the environmental impact assessment process, HIA aims to improve health and health equity by providing decision-makers with information on what potential changes in health determinants might result from a new policy or project. For example, an HIA might examine an employment, zoning, or transport policy, and assess the effects that changes in environmental or social factors might have on the health of a population.
In November 2004, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) in partnership with public agencies, community organizations, technical experts, and CCP convened the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment (ENCHIA). The ENCHIA, occurring in parallel with the San Francisco Planning Department’s Eastern Neighborhoods Planning Process, aims to analyze how community planning and real estate development in the Mission, South of Market, and Potrero Hill/Showplace Square neighborhoods can promote community and individual health. The Center is providing consultation on strategic direction, process design, and staff/stakeholder training for the project.
The assessment is a consensus-building process involving a Community Council of over 30 public and private organizations and facilitated by SFDPH staff. Since convening, the Council has agreed on a vision of a “healthy city” and has identified a series of objectives and indictors to assess the state and progress of the healthy city vision. To complete this, the group is undergoing a comprehensive examination of multiple factors that influence health, including housing adequacy, access to goods and services, schools, parks and public spaces, transit, quality pedestrians and bicycle environments, energy consumption, air quality and noise, employment and economic health, safety, equity, community cohesion, and civic participation. Thus far, the ENCHIA has produced data profiles for many of these factors in the geographic areas under study. It has also identified strategies for improving health through community design. The next steps for the ENCHIA process include researching and prioritizing these strategies and developing a communication plan. The findings and recommendations of the ENCHIA process will be synthesized into a Community Health Impact Report (CHIR) which will help to inform the public, city agency staff, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors on the plans and zoning controls for these neighborhoods.
Draft community health assessment of the Eastern Neighborhood Area Plans using San
Francisco's Healthy Development Measurement Tool:
For information about the Healthy Development Measurement Tool and for community
health information visit:
World Health Organization Health Impact Assessment
Symposium on Land Use and Health: Fostering Collaboration between Planners and Environmental Public Health Officials, February 19-20, 2004, Washington, D.C.
In 2003, CCP worked with the State Coastal Conservancy and its State and Federal partners (Project Partners) to conduct an in-depth stakeholder and organizational assessment to identify community issues and concerns about the proposed restoration of16,000 acres of recently acquired industrial salt ponds in South San Francisco Bay. Based on information gained in nearly 70 interviews, the CCP assessment team prepared a comprehensive report to the Project Partners presenting its findings and detailed recommendations for revising the overall restoration planning structure. This revised structure gave a prominent role to independent scientific input, as well as intensive public participation in collaborative planning for tidal marsh restoration, flood protection improvements, and enhanced public access. The CCP assessment team worked closely with the Project Partners to refine the organizational recommendations, which were ultimately approved and adopted by project leadership. After the assessment was complete, Project Partners asked the CCP team to implement the collaborative public restoration planning process. CCP also developed and coordinated a broad public outreach and education program to complement the planning process. Over the course of the 5-year planning process, the CCP team convened and facilitated over a hundred public meetings, including meetings of the Project’s Stakeholder Forum, Forum Work Groups, and numerous other technical and public workshops. The CCP Lead Facilitator continues to participate as an ongoing member of the Project Management Team. The South Bay Salt Pond Project restoration plan was completed on time and under budget in 2008. It was adopted with the unanimous support of the Project Stakeholder Forum. Phase 1 of the restoration is nearing completion, and by 2013 the project will have restored over 4000 acres of salt ponds to tidal habitat.
To learn more about this project, visit http://www.southbayrestoration.org
The results of the stakeholder and organizational assessment are available at:
South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project: Stakeholder and Organizational Assessment Findings and Recommendations (1.42 MB)
A collaborative effort between the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Board and stakeholders in the upper Truckee River watershed. The Center facilitates this community-based process whose goal is to agree upon standards for sediment TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) in the watershed and implement strategies to improve water quality in the watershed.
For more information and documentation on the Truckee River Sediment TMDL and the Truckee River TMDL Collaborative Project, visit the following links:
Truckee River Sediment TMDL Website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/lahontan/TMDL/Truckee/Truckee_Index.htm
TMDLs and NPS Challenges: The Truckee River Basin as a Case Study (Speaker presentation from the California Nonpoint Source Conference, Fall 2003):
CCP facilitates the Alameda County Community Development Agency’s scientific review committee (SRC) for the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (Altamont Pass). The SRC advises the County on how to reduce high levels of raptor mortality resulting from wind turbine operation in the Altamont Pass. The CCP facilitation team developed a charter for the SRC and began facilitating SRC meetings in 2006. Following a legal settlement in 2007, the SRC was charged with advising the County and the participating wind companies to reduce avian mortalities by 50%. The CCP facilitation team provides meeting design and facilitation for all SRC meetings, as well as ongoing strategic consultation with the parties. CCP created and maintains a website for the SRC to share information about its meetings and monitoring efforts in the Altamont Pass. CCP has also mediated disputes among the science committee and monitoring team members.
The Anza Borrego Desert Region (Region) consists of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park (Park) that is the largest state park in California. The Park also surrounds the City of Borrego Springs and a few outlying small communities. The area is completely reliant on groundwater for its water sources. In June 2011, DWR requested that CCP conduct an assessment to determine if stakeholder participation would be adequate to develop an IRWMP for the Region, which would make it eligible for a DWR planning grant. From the assessment findings, CCP recommended that a group of representative stakeholders commit to participate in the preparation of the IRWMP and to review the technical data to develop a work plan to address the basin conditions. At that time, the main issue was that groundwater pumping exceeded the long-term average quantity of water that can be pumped without causing undesirable results with no apparent water source for replenishment of the basin. CCP recommended a facilitated process with technical support from the consultants at Water Resources and Information Management Engineering to examine the available data and begin to draft an IRWMP. The Region also started preparations to draft a Proposition 84 planning grant application. However, the Region did not receive a planning grant award in 2012. The stakeholders currently participate in meetings with DWR to determine planning options for the Region.
The Bay Area Water Forum was formed in 2005 as a loose association of water-related groups. The Bay Area Water Forum encouraged multi-stakeholder participation and idea exchange, and regional collaboration through discussions and mutually supportive actions that benefit the Bay region water resources and the various agencies responsible for their management and sustainability. With CCP’s involvement, and once the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan established a governing structure, the Water Forum evolved into a forum for education and information sharing on important water-related topics. During the Forum's 2005- 2012 existence, CCP organized and facilitated its Steering Committee, subcommittee and public meetings, and provided strategic consultation to the Steering Committee. CCP also helped to develop, launch, and maintain the Forum website.
The Bordessa Ranch Conservation Easement Public Engagement project focused on issues and concerns of local stakeholders related to a proposed conservation easement of the Bordessa Ranch property, a 500-acre parcel in Sonoma County. A short-term project in February 2012, a key issue was concern around ramifications related to a possible future trail easement on the property (associated with a $650,000 grant that the California Coastal Conservancy approved conditional on future recreation use). Other concerns included grazing, forever wild areas, and potential private structure development. As a result of this effort, local stakeholders, Open Space staff, and local elected officials improved their understanding of each other’s interests and overcame some concerns. In March 2012 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the easement.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA) initiated this ongoing series of statewide dialogues in 2011. The main purpose of the collaborative public participation effort was to increase awareness and understanding of emerging science, technological innovations, best management practices, and regulatory improvements associated with invasive pest management, specifically in the context of globalization and climate change. CCP assists the DFA’s effort to obtain input on departmental priorities and to identify partnership opportunities among stakeholders. Between 100 and 150 participants attended each symposium, and included representatives from the state’s $31 billion agricultural industry, including conventional and organic agriculture associations; community-based, anti-pesticide coalitions; university research divisions; public health advocates; state and federal customs and inspection agencies; and the plant and tree nursery industry. Symposium topics included trade, exports, and quarantine; invasion biology; education and outreach; and exclusion, prevention, detection, and risk management; and intervention. Each symposium involved a combination of panel presentations, plenary discussions, keynote addresses, and small group work and reporting. Challenges included diverse expertise and levels of familiarity with technical and regulatory issues; historical conflict over pest management interventions; and social and cultural divisions between rural agricultural producers and urban agricultural consumers. CCP and DFA have completed two symposia. CCP and DFA are in the process to plan the remaining four, with each event including a series of tailored presentation materials and detailed meeting summary of input and recommendations.
The California Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities is establishing itself as the go-to organization for model policy and best practice development related to inclusion of people with disabilities in the work force. The group, formally known as the “Governor’s Committee” under the Employment Development Department was renamed and established under the CA Department of Rehabilitation in January 2012. CCP has assisted CCEPD since August 2012 with their efforts to establish a dynamic culture of inclusion and efficiency. CCP worked closely with staff and Committee leadership to design and facilitate a multi-day strategic planning process and facilitated two work groups charged with implementing the group’s goals to increase employment rates for people with disabilities. CCP also developed the charter documents for the full Committee and two work groups, including a collaborative decision-making structure. Another key element of CCP’s assistance was to coach staff to develop their facilitation skills and build productive relationships with Committee members and key stakeholder groups across the state. When CCP’s help ends in June 2013, the group will have an effective governance structure and tools to achieve its goal to increase the rate of employment for people with disabilities to one closer to that of the general population.
The California Levee Vegetation Research Program is a multi-agency collaborative research program; the goal is to identify gaps in scientific information related to the effects of woody vegetation on flood control levees, then investigate those gaps to provide best available scientific information to policy-makers. The California Department of Water Resources is the primary funder, with the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Valley Flood Protection Board, NOAA Fisheries, and US Fish and Wildlife Service contributing funding and participating. The CLVRP additionally coordinates and collaborates with a separate research effort on the same topic, which the US Army Corps of Engineers manages. CCP provides program management and organizational support to the CLVRP, and facilitates collaboration among the participating agencies and between the CLVRP and the US Army Corps of Engineers, particularly the Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). The CLVRP began in April 2007 with the organization of a science symposium on the current state of knowledge on this topic and is ongoing. CCP performs large and small group facilitation, strategic analysis and consultation, coaching key agency staff, and shuttle diplomacy as needed.
Key challenges include ensuring a close connection between policy needs and research performed, ensuring a transparent and neutral research process regarding a controversial policy topic, and maintaining effective working relationships between staff of agencies that are embroiled in an acrimonious policy dispute including litigation and legislative involvement. Following the first science symposium in 2007, several original collaborative research projects have been completed, and a second science symposium took place in August 2012. In spring 2013, the program is initiating a second round of original research. Collaboration has helped to focus research on key topics of mutual interest, provide peer input on project scoping and methods provide peer review of project results, and improve utilization of the research results.
The Roundtable was formed in 2007 by leadership of key federal, state, and local agencies with responsibility for federal flood control levees in the state of California: US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, Central Valley Flood Protection Board, California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. The Roundtable met monthly through 2011. Its primary purpose was to increase mutual understanding and explore opportunities for collaborative policy solutions to the issue of woody vegetation growing on flood control levees. Beginning in 2009, CCP provided the Roundtable with a mid-stream assessment, facilitated monthly meetings, and provided strategic analysis and consultation to Roundtable members. Challenges included working through complex historic tensions, encouraging robust involvement and communication between key decision-makers located on opposite coasts (Sacramento and D.C.), maintaining trust of all group members when all but one were aligned in objection to one member’s policy, and the breakdown of communication that occurred when one member agency filed litigation against another over this issue. Through the Roundtable, all members gained a deeper understanding of the policy’s intent, underlying rationale, hurdles and costs to implementation, and possible alternatives. Consequently, policymakers in California and Washington, D.C. with responsibilities for levee safety each adjusted their agency’s policies closer to a middle ground in response to concerns raised in Roundtable discussions, resulting in new vegetation maintenance practices that all parties agree have been a substantial, tangible benefit to public safety. However, Roundtable discussions were suspended when one member agency filed litigation against another. The litigation is still pending as of April 2013. A coalition of agencies will seek final resolution through potential federal legislation. Several Roundtable agencies are considering reanimating the Roundtable as a forum for ongoing high-level interagency updates and discussion on the vegetation issue.
Beginning in 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board’s Office of Public Participation initiated an ongoing, annual facilitation training series for headquarters and regional staff. The purposes of the series was to build capacity of the Water Boards to run effective stakeholders meetings and manage public involvement processes and to leverage limited consulting budgets through internal facilitation capacity. Participants included managers and staff, with some executives. Trainings took place in Sacramento and in regional offices, with participants coming from the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards. The standard trainings covered introductory, intermediate, and advanced facilitation. Introductory topics included graphic recording, the facilitator role, and active listening skills. Intermediate topics included meeting preparation, stakeholder check-ins, meeting design, and meeting management, including challenging behaviors, conflict, and decision-making. CCP tailored some trainings around specific topics based on conversations with the convening executive and a pre-training survey. Advanced trainings covered stakeholder assessments and a train-the-trainer session, designed to help staff provide basic facilitation trainings in their own offices without CCP’s involvement. All trainings involved a variety of methods designed to transfer and practice skills, such as individual, paired, and small group workbook exercises; mini-lecture and book section discussions; content review of real video and written news materials; and intensive role plays with case materials drawn from real and relevant examples. The Water Boards hosted three series of facilitation trainings since 2009, which provided over 300 staff with hands-on experience to apply the best practices in the field of facilitation. The effort has provided staff across the state with practical tools, reference materials, and a greater capacity to engage and work with diverse stakeholders in a collaborative process. As of March 2013, the State Board plans to launch of a new round of trainings in regions that have not yet participated.
The California Water Plan provides a collaborative planning framework for elected officials, agencies, tribes, water and resource managers, businesses, academia, stakeholders, and the public to develop findings, recommendations, and make informed decisions for California's water future. The plan, updated every five years, presents the status and trends of California's water-dependent natural resources; water supplies; and agricultural, urban, and environmental water demands for a range of plausible future scenarios. Serving as the state’s strategic plan for water resources, the plan also evaluates and recommends different combinations of regional and statewide resource management strategies to reduce water demand, increase water supply, reduce flood risk, improve water quality, and enhance environmental and resource stewardship. Convened by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and with CCP’s facilitation support, a 28-member State Agency Steering Committee, with stakeholder input provided through a 47-member Public Advisory Committee, 40-member Tribal Advisory Committee, 15-member Federal Agency Network, seven topical caucuses, and an annual series of regional workshops guide the development of the plan. Through a facilitation work team that meets weekly, CCP supports DWR in all aspects of the design and implementation of agency, tribal, stakeholder, and general public participation, including the scoping and integration of technical analyses. The central challenge involves meaningfully integrating a wide range of information and feedback across a plan whose myriad elements touch, in one way or another, every aspect of the state. CCP provided the same services for Update 2005 and Update 2009. CCP will assist with Update 2013, and DWR and CCP anticipates an on-schedule completion and online release of the updated plan in December 2013.
In early 2012, CCP provided coaching and strategic consulting to the Catch Accountability through Compensated Halibut (CATCH) organization in its development of a multi-day stakeholder meeting in Sitka, Alaska. The focus of the workshop was for stakeholders to assist in developing a mechanism for moving halibut quota share from the commercial fishery into a recreational catch share-pool. The goal was to put on a highly cohesive workshop on the issue. This was also the first time the stakeholders came together. CCP assisted the CATCH staff with agenda development, provided coaching on how to facilitate the session to ensure successful strategic planning, visioning and collaborative policy making segments, as well as pre-session mediation. The result was a well-received session. The majority of stakeholders were willing to pursue next steps related to the CATCH concept.
In late 2004, in response to Congressional direction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) initiated updating the controversial 1994 Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan. With the ultimate objective of developing a scientifically credible recovery plan with realistic prospects for implementation and success, USFWS secured the impartial expertise of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (Institute) and the Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP) to assess the feasibility of a collaborative approach to recovery planning. The Institute and CCP collaborated to complete an assessment that included over 100 interviews with individuals representing the full spectrum of federal, state, and local governments, Tribal Nations, assorted conservation and environmental interest groups and a wide array of biologists across the Mojave Desert in California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and the southwestern tip of Utah. Information from the interviews showed significant uncertainty among stakeholders about the science underlying recovery efforts, and thus the assessment team recommended the creation of a broadly accepted and scientifically credible foundation of information to base the regional recovery action plans. The Desert Tortoise Management Oversight Group accepted the assessment team’s findings in August 2006. Subsequently, CCP was asked to provide facilitation coaching and process guidance to USFWS staff to expeditiously convene numerous regional recovery implementation work groups to develop 5-year Desert Tortoise Recovery Action Plans. After a series of facilitated meetings to explain and build upon the data provided from each work group participant, USFWS released draft 5-Year Action Plans for public review.
CCP’s involvement with this ten-year dispute resolution and joint fact finding process started in 2010 and is ongoing. The purpose of the effort was to plan a suite of forest restoration projects covering 154,000 acres of the Dinkey Landscape, which is part of the Sierra National Forest. Stakeholders include national and regional environmental organizations, local landowners, California Native American Tribes, the forest products industry, Southern California Edison, local and state recreation organizations, the local fire safe council, University of California Merced, and other resource management and regulatory public agencies. With the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, CCP and the US Forest Service, the effort has leveraged the involvement of a large plenary group, technical and monitoring work groups, and a steering committee. Activities have included landscape and project planning, fuels analysis and risk assessment, field reviews, public education and volunteer engagement, comprehensive multiparty monitoring, ongoing socioeconomic assessment, joint fact-finding, and developing a suite of field-based implementation tools. The effort is one of the ten original federal Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration projects nationwide.
In early 2011, Imperial Irrigation District and Imperial County agreed to sponsor a collaborative process to develop an IRWMP for the Imperial Region. The region has a desert climate with high temperatures and low rainfall, but irrigation is available all year from the Colorado River, which is provided by Imperial Irrigation District. This water source makes it highly suitable for agriculture, which accounts for 97% of the water usage in the region. The region consists mainly of disadvantaged communities. CCP supported the IRWM process beginning with a stakeholder assessment and meeting facilitation. CCP facilitated a public kick-off meeting to recruit stakeholder participants, monthly stakeholder meetings, and several workgroups meetings, including meetings to select and prioritize projects included in the second round of the DWR’s grant application in March 2013. A major challenge was to gain and maintain participation throughout the process. Disadvantaged communities often could not afford to send staff members to meetings. Agriculture representatives had great mistrust for Imperial Irrigation District and attended mainly to protect their interests. CCP, the technical consultant GEI, the Imperial Irrigation District, and a core group of stakeholders and interested parties maintained continuity and encouraged attendance. The result was that a majority of stakeholders for the Water Forum endorsed the Imperial IRWMP in October 2012. Currently, the agencies in the region including Imperial Irrigation District, County of Imperial, and several cities are in the process to adopt the Plan.
The Madera Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) group is part of the CA Department of Water Resources’ statewide IRWM Program. CCP has worked with the Madera group since February 2012 in support of significant changes to its governance structure and outreach efforts with Disadvantaged Community organizations. CCP initially conducted a stakeholder assessment and facilitated strategic planning. After this, the group became clear that its primary focus was to revise the organization’s by-laws. The group struggled with what members called “pay-to-play” voting. In the year prior to CCP’s involvement, the group collected dues each year from official signatory members. Some vital members could not afford the full dues amount. CCP conducted a governance workshop and facilitated a series of conversations that led to the group establishing a new governance structure. The group was also keen to engage Disadvantaged Communities although the lack of clarity around dues requirements constrained the group’s recruiting efforts. With the new by-laws in place, the group welcomed participants from Disadvantaged Communities. As of spring 2013 the group will seek funding for five significant Disadvantaged Community projects through the Department of Water Resources Proposition 84 Grant Implementation Program.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region and The Nature Conservancy, convened the collaborative public participation and joint fact-finding effort in early 2012. The conveners worked with the Eldorado and Stanislaus National Forests, USDI Bureau of Land Management, Pacific Gas & Electric, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Sierra Pacific Industries, Amador and Calaveras Counties, and other partners to analyze the economic benefits created for watershed communities and regional utilities through forest management and restoration. With the goal to identify potential investors in forest restoration, the analysis efforts focused primarily on risks to private property, dam infrastructure operation and maintenance, municipal water supplies, and wildlife from catastrophic fire and rain-on-fire sedimentation. This highly technical modeling and economic analysis project involves an advisory committee, very large technical committee, and consulting team that specializes in the valuation of natural resources and processes. Preparing with the planning team and consultant, CCP facilitated the advisory and technical committee meeting, including translation of technical information to resource managers, tailoring the consultant’s scope of work to best match the advisory committee’s values and emerging areas of interest, and strategic advising around representation and participation. Issues have included how to frame and communicate the study and outcomes to appeal to potential investors; pioneering the linkage of multiple models and associated data reconfiguration; and prioritizing planning areas and designing associated treatments. Challenges have included the need to negotiate and document analytical and modeling assumptions; the desire for a greater degree of local government influence over the scope of work and priority concerns; and intermittent participation by a key stakeholder. As of March 2013, the project transitioned from treatment design to economic analyses. CCP and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy anticipate the release of the final report in summer 2013.
At the request of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), CCP facilitated a focused effort to resolve feasibility issues related to implementing the Instream Flow Recommendations for the Mono Basin, submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board and LADWP in 2011-2012. The recommendations were the culmination of a 12-year monitoring program geared to improve fisheries and habitat of streams in the Mono Basin and raise Mono Lake levels while considering water supply for the City of Los Angeles. The California Department of Fish & Game, California Trout, the Mono Lake Committee, and LADWP met intensively for one year to assess feasibility and develop terms and conditions for a new licensing agreement for LADWP’s Mono Basin facilities operations. The issues of the facilitation process centered on ecological conditions for streams and fisheries, Mono Lake levels, modeling recommended flows, and facilities operations. In 2013, LADWP submitted outcomes of the facilitated process to the State Water Resources Control Board to consider in the formation of an amended license.
In 2011 the Napa County Board of Supervisors established a Groundwater Resources Advisory Committee (GRAC) and charged it with making recommendations on a voluntary groundwater monitoring program with support of a technical consultant. The County’s program included a groundwater conceptualization model, well pump test protocol, groundwater ordinance, groundwater sustainability objectives, and building public support for these activities. Convened by the County’s Departments of Planning and Public Works, CCP worked with members from the different groundwater basins and sub-areas that represent agricultural, wine industry, environmental, property rights, and community-based interests on designing and facilitating full committee plenary meetings and ad hoc sub-committee meetings, as well as periodic briefings to the Board of Supervisors, an annual joint meeting with the Napa County Watershed Information Center and Conservancy (which includes public agency representatives), and public outreach workshops. CCP regularly supports the County with strategic analysis of the political landscape and the corresponding concerns of committee members in preparation for meetings. Key issues included the prioritization of monitoring sites, data confidentiality and landowner risks, the solicitation of volunteers, strategic messaging and outreach, groundwater and surface water interaction and associated scientific uncertainty, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. CCP worked with the County and participants to deepen understanding of the County’s hydrogeology and technical complexity. The GRAC adopted a communication plan in 2012, and a voluntary groundwater monitoring plan and outreach materials in early 2013. As of March 2013 with CCP help, the GRAC prepared to solicit volunteers, adopt a revised hydrogeologic conceptualization, and update the groundwater ordinance and well pump test protocol.
In January 2011, CCP worked with the Regional Water Board to create and implement a collaborative public process for the development of its Agricultural Lands Discharge Program (Program). The Program seeks to reduce the impact of waste discharges from agricultural lands throughout the North Coast region; a geographically, economically, and environmentally diverse area that extends from the Sonoma Valley to the Oregon and Nevada borders. The stakeholder community is diverse with representatives from well-established viticulture organizations, single owner/operator agricultural operations, tribes, environmental interests, and local/state/federal government employees. The collaborative policymaking process for the Program faces three main challenges of how to address participant attendance, regional soil and agricultural activities’ impact on the scope of the program, and stakeholder conflict. As such, defining a single, region-wide Program requires great flexibility. To date, the process has included large and small group facilitation, as well as strategic analysis and consultation with Regional Water Board staff. The project is expected to conclude in July 2014.
In September 2011, the six counties of the Northern Sacramento water basin initiated an Integrated Regional Water Management planning effort. The goal of the effort was to produce a joint regional strategic plan with shared goals, objectives, and prioritized projects for water management including water supply, water quality, flood management, and water-related environmental stewardship efforts. The regional planning process serves to educate and coordinate multiple agencies and interested parties in the region who are involved in water issues, and will allow the region to compete for state IRWM grant funding. For the project, CCP provided process guidance for effective collaborative policy-making and helped plan and facilitate collaborative public participation. Before beginning public outreach, CCP also provided tribal training for county staff and consultants regarding California Indian tribal history, culture, legal rights, and effective tribal outreach. The planning effort was guided by a governing board with members appointed by the Boards of Supervisors of the six counties (Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, and Sutter). Board members include a County Supervisor from each county, landowners, and representatives of major cities and water providers in the region. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) supports the Board. The TAC included staff of all six counties, water agency representatives, land owners, a tribal representative, and at-large representatives of the public. CCP and the Board’s public outreach efforts included public workshops throughout the region at key points in the planning process, as well as robust public involvement at all meetings of the Board and TAC, which were open to the public. Key interest groups which track and comment on the process, included local environmental groups and Tea Party activists. Key challenges included considering over a hundred projects proposed for inclusion in the plan (some potentially controversial) at an adequate level of detail within time and budget, addressing long-standing historic concerns that local water managers could sell surface water to Southern California while using local groundwater for local use, and incorporating participation of local Tea Party members who are opposed to the planning effort. The planning effort is on track to produce an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan by their deadline of spring 2014. In addition to producing the IRWM Plan, the six counties plan to continue to support the Board as an ongoing forum for education, coordination, and speaking with a regional voice on water issues.
CCP facilitates the development of a master plan to manage water efficient dust control, habitat, public access, and recreation for the historic Owens Lake in the Eastern Sierra through a collaborative public participation process. In 2010, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, responsible for dust mitigation on the dry lakebed, convened a diverse collaborative to develop a master plan to achieve dust control, enhancing habitat, and conserving water. The California State Lands Commission owns the land under the lakebed while the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District regulates air quality. These entities plus representatives of ranching, local business, recreation, and local, state, federal and tribal government work together to grapple with the complex lakebed issues. CCP first conducted an assessment with stakeholders in the region to assess interest in the development of a Master Plan and to design a process responsive to a range of stakeholders. CCP facilitates the decision-making Planning Committee and some of its workgroups. The Planning Committee will develop the plan and will recommend it for adoption by the implementing organizations. The Habitat Work Group developed a unique habitat model to evaluate the quality and quantity of habitat, and thus provides an opportunity to reduce water necessary to control dust. Once developed, the Master Plan will provide a collaborative vision for water efficiency, habitat value, air quality, and public access.
The State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy (SELC) has been in partnership for several years to facilitate the development of a restoration plan for the San Elijo Lagoon, near Cardiff-by-the-Sea, in northern San Diego County. While SELC’s restoration project represents over 23 years of planning, no significant public outreach or public participation for the restoration planning had been conducted. In October 2011, CCP conducted a stakeholder assessment and created a communication and outreach plan to serve as a guide for SELC’s public participation efforts during the CEQA/NEPA and restoration process. CCP conducted thirteen interviews of major stakeholders representing diverse interests including: community residents, SELC board members, local business owners, and local elected officials. In 2012, CCP worked closely with the SELC to develop a communication and outreach plan, informed by the assessment, to create a clear strategy for robust public participation and align additional organizational goals. SELC currently uses the Communication Plan to guide outreach during future restoration planning efforts.
The State Legislature, at the behest of kayakers and other small boat users, passed a 2005 law establishing the San Francisco Bay Are Water Trail. With a plan and environmental analysis complete, the State Coastal Conservancy and the Water Trail Project Management Team launched the Water Trail with the guidance of an Advisory Committee of stakeholder interests and the public in June 2011. CCP helped the Conservancy design the decision-making and engagement process and to facilitate the initial public meetings. CCP has continued to facilitate quarterly implementation meetings and periodic subcommittee meetings. CCP provides strategic advice to the State Coastal Conservancy on working with stakeholders and managing conflict. CCP has also helped the Water Trail staff design a process to engage stakeholders around accessibility for people with disabilities to access the Water Trail.
Each year since 2010, CCP has worked with the Board of Directors of the San Juan Water District to evaluate the past year’s activities, discuss strategic issues and priorities, and provide direction to staff on specific actions to implement strategic initiatives. These annual strategic planning workshops focused on organizational issues such as inter-agency coordination, employee compensation and benefits, staffing and succession planning, and community relations, and refining policy platforms for numerous issues such as water supply reliability and shortage supplies, state legislation and bond measures, groundwater contamination, water-power transmission, and federal water conservation requirements. Participants include the five directors, along with the general manager, assistant general manager, and legal counsel. Prior to each workshop, CCP conducted a mini-assessment by interviewing each director to identify agenda topics and uncover concerns on particular topics. Conducting meetings as a full group, the CCP facilitator used dispute resolution and consensus building techniques to manage the complex technical, political, and legal dimensions of most agenda items. The group often had a large number of items to work through, and, on some occasions, personal differences between directors that involved activities outside of the district were all challenges CCP helped the board and staff work through during the annual workshops. Each year’s workshop resulted in a summary reflecting the board’s direction on consensus activities and staff priorities. CCP and the board anticipate the continuation of the workshop series in future years.
The Center designs and facilitates the Sierra Cascades Dialog. The Dialog, which began in 2010, brings people with diverse viewpoints together to discuss and think about issues of importance in managing national forests and grasslands and private lands across the Sierra Nevada and Cascades mountain ranges. Dialogs provide an opportunity for participants to learn, develop shared meaning, align actions, build mutual respect, and understand different perspectives. The Dialog provides stakeholders and Forest Service staff a rare opportunity to discuss issues as a region. Dialog topics include the Leadership Intent for Ecological Restoration; Values, Attitudes, & Interests; Forest Planning; Improving Conditions in Rural Communities; Recreation; and other topics of regional significance. The Dialog meets quarterly in Sacramento, and has also expanded to include a remote location in the Eastern Sierra. The Center also facilitates the 20-member Dialog steering committee, a representative group that provides recommendations on the design of the Dialog. The outcomes of the Dialog influence the management strategies of the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service.
CCP has designed and provided facilitation and strategic consultation for the Southern Sierra Integrated Regional Water Management collaborative public participation and strategic planning process. The process provides a forum to discuss, plan, and implement integrative water and watershed projects that enhance natural resources and human communities in the region, which links Fresno, Tulare, and Madera Counties, and serves as a statewide-significant source of water for agriculture, cities, and hydropower. Since 2011, the California Department of Water Resources provided a grant for CCP to provide facilitation support services. An 11-member Regional Water Management Group composed of a public utility, local and regional environmental and community organizations, a resource conservation and a flood control district, two national forests and two national parks, and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Tule River Tribe, and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board actively participate in the effort. CCP’s facilitation support consists of managing the full group meetings and occasionally supporting the coordinating committee and ad hoc work groups. The Regional Water Management Group has addressed issues to clarify the group’s governance structure and decision-making process; refine and prioritize planning goals and objectives; and recruit public agency representatives and local stakeholders. CCP enabled the Regional Management Group to work through lack of trust among some group members; frustration from an unsuccessful planning grant application in 2010; and low staffing and project management capacity among participating organizations. The Regional Management Group won a $600,000 planning grant and prepared a $400,000 implementation grant application. The group has also significantly broadened participation through its outreach activities. As of March 2013, with CCP’s support, the Regional Management Group will apply planning grant funds to develop a standards-compliant IRWM plan and to conduct public outreach workshops including several disadvantaged communities.
The West Campus/ Saint Hope Design Team Facilitation project was an intense effort conducted in December 2011. The project was designed around a controversial proposal to swap or co-locate two high schools and to understand whether the proposed process to evaluate the proposals could be insightful and cost effective. CCP conducted confidential assessment meetings to obtain the opinions and perspectives of 26 Design Team members. The Design Team process is a Sacramento City Unified School District practice that brings together diverse stakeholders on a given topic. The interviewees included parents, students, teachers, a janitor, and other concerned individuals. Given the subject matter, kids, emotions ran high and opinions were strong. Two and a half days were allocated for the 26 interviews with a public meeting to present the interview results on the third day of the project. All stakeholders interviewed unanimously felt the school district proposal was a not a good idea, and CCP reported the findings at the stakeholder meeting. Although the Design Team agreed to meet again to discuss the merits of the proposal further, the School Board voted to drop the proposal at their subsequent meeting a few days later.