Sierra Cascades Dialog Sessions

Landscape view of snow-capped mountains with trees in the foreground.


The Dialogs focused on the future of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades, with a specific focus on the national forests in these regions. Dialogs provided an opportunity for learning, shared meaning, aligned actions, mutual respect and understanding different perspectives.

The goals were to:

  • Bring together public and private land managers to grapple with an "all lands" approach to planning and conservation, beginning with fire protection issues
  • Lay the foundation for Forest Plan revisions
  • Develop stakeholder collaborative capacity to address challenging complex issues on a broad scale
  • Create shared responsibility and understanding
  • Give people voice to express concerns and provide an avenue for input
  • Build relationships and trust among all stakeholders

Dialog Sessions

Session 1 - "Leadership Intent & Ecological Restoration" - Nov. 4, 2010

Session 2 - "Values, Attitudes and Beliefs" - Feb. 24, 2011

Session 3 - "Improving Social & Ecomomic Conditions in Rural Forest Communities" - Oct. 12, 2011

Session 4 - "Preparing for Forest Planning" - Dec. 15, 2011

Session 5 - "Collaborative Planning in Forest Plan Revision" - Mar. 1, 2012

Session 6 - "Adaptive Management in Forest Planning: Tools and Techniques" - May 10, 2012

Session 7 - "Recreation: Social and Economic Opportunities and Impacts" - Sep. 27, 2012

Session 8 - "Science Synthesis" - Jan. 24, 2013

Session 9 - "Biogregional Assessment" - Jan. 25, 2013

Session 10 - "Biogregional Assessment" - May 30, 2013

Session 11 - "Still Standing—Wildland Fire and Resiliency" - Dec. 12, 2013

Session 12 - "Water, water, water" - Feb. 27, 2014

Session 13 - Exploring the Range of Public Views - April 30, 2014

Session 14 - Monitoring - January 22, 2015

Session 15 - Planning Tomorrow's Forests Today: Pacific Crest Trail, Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Species of Conservation Concern - October, 15 2015


From 2010-2015, the Dialogs brought together participants with diverse perspectives about natural resource topics of concern across the Sierra Nevada and Cascades. In doing so, the Dialogs provided a foundation for improved relationships and understanding among stakeholders and the U.S. Forest Service that has benefited forest management more widely in the region. The goal was to create shared understanding among participants with diverse opinions.


Agreements and understanding achieved through the Dialog Group helped inform Forest Service decisions. Outcomes were shared with the Regional Leadership Team and other staff of the Forest Service. (The Regional Leadership Team includes the Regional Forester, Deputy Regional Forester, key regional leaders, and the Forest Supervisors.)

Outcomes often took the form of Statements of Understanding. These Statements might consist of a common set of definitions, agreements, proposed strategies, issue summaries, etc. The Statements were driven by the content of the discussion.


All meetings were open to the public. The Dialogs strove for age, cultural, geographic and socio-economic diversity among participants.


Quick Links


  • Overview Document Link opens in a Pdf Document

    The Overview document summarizes the structure and framework for establishing the Sierra Cascades Dialogs, including goals, participation, proposed discussion topics and outcomes, meeting format and framework, current steering committee membership and communication agreements.