EMC: Public Engagement Dispatch - June 2019

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EMC’s Public Engagement Group’s monthly dispatch brings you information about what’s happening in the world of public engagement inside and outside the Forest Service. This month’s Dispatch announces the launch of the new and improved Public Engagement and Collaboration SharePoint site! We’re also sharing some public engagement highlights from the Lessons Learned workshop held in Albuquerque on June 18-20.


Are there other PE topics you’re interested learning about? Email us at SM.FS.publicengage@usda.govThe PE Dispatch is distributed through GovDelivery. See below for how-to easily subscribe.

Public Engagement and Collaboration SharePoint site

A one-stop shop for your public engagement efforts!

The Public Engagement and Collaboration SharePoint site is a living, dynamic resource. We will continue to improve the site and add information and resources to assist you as you work in your role with our publics and partners.


On the site, you’ll discover the following tools, resources, and information.

  • Public Engagement Community of Practice: Join our network of public engagement practitioners. Check out past CoP webinars and resources. Add your profile to the CoP Directory!
  • International Association of Public Participation: Plug into and join an international public engagement network. Enjoy monthly webinars and learn more about IAP2 resources. Forest Service has agency-wide membership, so just visit our SharePoint site to learn how to become a member for free!
  • Leader as Convener: Learn about this popular EMC-sponsored workshop to strengthen your convening and facilitation skills.
  • National Collaboration Cadre: Learn what the collaboration cadre has to offer. Read recent publications by the cadre on how to engage in effective collaboration.  
  • eTools: Explore electronic tools and resources for collaborating.
  • Public Engagement Resource Kit: Visit this collated library of public engagement resources designed for new and experienced public engagement practitioners. Discover foundational information, examples of public engagement strategies, techniques ideas, and how-to measure success.  
  • PE Dispatch: Read the latest news from EMC’s public engagement group and access past issues of the dispatch.  
  • From the Field: Participate in peer-to-peer learning by exploring short stories in public engagement from the field and through sharing your own stories.
  • Federal Advisory Committee Act: Access key resources to answer your FACA questions.
  • Training: Discover internal and external training opportunities in public engagement.

To share your suggestions and feedback about the site, contact Madelyn Dillon at madelyn.dillon@usda.gov or SM.FS.publicengage@usda.gov.

 EMC's Planning Index

EMC recently launched a Planning Index on the EMC SharePoint site. The Index is a crowd-sourced collection of training materials, templates, examples, guidance, Q&A, and lessons learned, and includes a section on public participation specific to land management planning.


Public Engagement at the Land Management Planning Lessons-Learned Workshop

Approximately 115 Forest Service employees convened in Albuquerque June 18th-20th for a workshop on lessons-learned in land management planning. EMC's Public Engagement Group, with Maia Enzer as the day lead, worked together to design and coordinate Day 1 of the workshop. The theme of Day 1 was “Relationships: Engage, Collaborate, Partner, Communicate.” The sessions offered a variety of ways for participants to learn from each other, discuss the interconnected nature of internal and external engagement, and experience a variety of meeting design techniques such as games, world café, a samoan circle, roundtable discussion, role and scenario playing, graphic facilitation, and polling. Highlights included:

  • Planning Knowledge Bowl - A jeopardy-style quiz bowl featured three categories: Public Engagement, Collaboration & Inclusivity, and Multiparty Monitoring. Questions covered topics such as requirements of public engagement in land management planning, approaches to engaging environmental justice communities, and the IAP2 public engagement spectrum.
  • Guest Keynote address: - Laura McCarthy, New Mexico State Forester, spoke to the group about her personal experiences in working for and with the Forest Service, the opportunity to work with States in contemporary ways, shared several lessons and encouraged participants to focus on the importance of relationships in the planning and management of forests.
  • Concurrent breakout sessions - Day 1 featured 10 breakout sessions addressing a variety of aspects of relationships and public engagement. Two of the sessions were offered as part of the open session approach, where participants were able to propose topics on the day. Key points from these sessions included:
    • Internal Engagement - Consistent internal engagement throughout the land management planning process will lead to a positive feedback loop of involvement and appreciation by staff across the forests.
    • Public Involvement Strategies and Techniques - A public involvement strategy for land management planning needs to be dynamic and adjusted throughout the process. Core values such as transparency and inclusivity should drive your public engagement process.
    • Intergovernmental Relationships - Shared ownership on the need for change and staying on the same page throughout the land management planning process is key for successful intergovernmental relationships.
    • External Communications – Direct and clear communication increases understanding and support. Using the right platform can help prevent communications from going dark, with the most efficiency.
    • Managing Transitions – Improving how personnel transitions are managed depends equally on improving available tools with each of our own efforts to ease the process for those who come behind us.
    • Managing Conflict - Avoiding conflict is not constructive. Working through conflict can lead to constructive discussions about resource tradeoffs and to better, informed decisions.
    • Multi-party Monitoring – Participants learned the benefits and best approaches to inclusively engaging the public and partners in the development of monitoring questions, data collection and analysis, and adaptive management.
    • Leveraging Relationships to Build Capacity –Creating relationships that use everyone’s strongest assets can bring efficiency and effectiveness to how you work together.

Days 2 and 3 of the workshop focused on planning process and content. For more information and materials about the workshop, visit the Forest Planning SharePoint site.

 Trainings, Webinars, and Conferences

International Association of Public Participation

eeINSPIRE Webinar Series

  • Environmental Education and Indigenous Knowledge, July 2nd at 4pm (EDT), Megan Bang, Associate Professor in Education and Indigenous Studies, Northwestern University. Megan will focus on the intersection of environmental education and indigenous knowledge. This is an opportunity to gain a new perspective on the depth of our field and shaping culturally inclusive environmental education opportunities.

 Community of Practice News

Field season is upon us, and we will be taking a break from the Community of Practice monthly call in June.

Join us for the next PE Community of Practice call on July 16th @ 2:30pm (EDT) featuring Tamberly Conway, Partnerships, Diversity, and Inclusion Specialist. Her talk is about "Health as a connector between people and the land:  A new Forest Service paradigm in engaging diverse audiences in public land management and conservation." Tamberly will share how the Forest Service and partners are using NatureRx, Park Rx , Forest Therapy and stewardship activities of reciprocity to engage the health care community and diverse audiences in public lands conversations and conservation actions.

Visit our Community of Practice SharePoint Site or contact Daniel Silvas at daniel.silvas@usda.gov for more information.

EMC's Public Engagement Group Contacts

For more information on EMC's Public Engagement Group, contact us at SM.FS.publicengage@usda.gov or reach out to any of us directly.

Public Engagement (Deb Beighley, Assistant Director)
Catherine Doyle-Capitman, Social Scientist, catherine.doyle-capitman@usda.gov, 202-205-1643
Brad Kinder, Public Engagement Specialist, bradley.kinder@usda.gov, 202-239-4184
Daniel Silvas, Public Engagement Specialist, daniel.silvas@usda.gov, 970-295-5769
Sharon Timko, Public Engagement Specialist, sharon.timko@usda.gov, 202-205-1140

Planning (Andrea Bedell-Loucks, Assistant Director)

Maia Enzer, Planning and Public Engagement Advisor, maia.enzer@usda.gov, 503-312-8863

Deidra McGee, Planning Specialist,  Deidra.mcgee@usda.gov, 202-205-0852

Jasmine Napier, Planning Specialist, Jasmine.s.napier@usda.gov, 202-849-0006


Adaptive Management (Jamie Barbour, Assistant Director)

Madelyn Dillon, Strategic Communication Specialist, madelyn.dillon@usda.gov, 970-295-5734

Michelle Tamez, Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment Specialist, michelle.tamez@usda.gov, 202-205-1194


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