EMC: Public Engagement Dispatch | September 2019

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The WO Ecosystem Management Coordination 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 focuses on the International Association of Public Participation North American Conference, which took place in Charlotte, NC, September 4-6th 2019. The conference was a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of and innovations practiced by organizations outside the federal government.


Take advantage of Forest Service agency-wide IAP2 membership. To register as a member and receive your individual login, please email mailto:info@iap2usa.org and provide your basic contact information (name, email, address, department and title)


Have other topics in mind? Email us at SM.FS.publicengage@usda.gov to let us know what other PE topics you’re interested learning about.


Featured FAQs 


What is IAP2, and why should you care?

IAP2 USA is a private, nonprofit, membership organization currently serving around 500 members – in public agencies, academia, consulting firms, and nonprofits, and ranging from college students to seasoned professionals. Regional chapters provide members with local networking and collaboration opportunities. While many organizations focus on a technique, IAP2 emphasizes the importance of program design and goals identification for developing effective and meaningful public participation. Representatives from Ecosystem Management, Region 8, and Region 1 attended the conference.


The Forest Service is one of the only federal agencies with a full membership in IAP2. Membership offers unique opportunities to connect with national and international experts and with a huge community of practitioners in your own region. By joining, you’ll receive discounted registration to events like skill symposiums, with topics such as how to evaluate public participation efforts, building public trust, and large-scale engagement techniques. You’ll learn from the ONLY industry association dedicated to community engagement, and to be recognized as a specialist practitioner by government and industry.

To register as a member and receive your individual login, please email mailto:info@iap2usa.org and provide your basic contact information (name, email, address, department and title).


What are some key takeaways from the 2019 IAP2 North American Conference?

The conference featured a wealth of innovative public engagement work being done by municipalities around the country. Check out the full conference agenda here to learn more about what these innovators are doing in the field of public engagement.


The importance of designing public participation for the public’s convenience—let’s go to where are publics gather, like farmer’s markets and local sports venues, in addition to engaging them at our public meetings.


IAP2 Ambassadors can bring IAP2 tools, resources, and training opportunities to your unit! They are located throughout the U.S. including Denver, CO; Portland, OR; Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA, Missoula MT.

Interested in learning more about the conference or who attended from the Forest Service? Contact us at SM.FS.publicengage@usda.gov.


Tools and Resources

IAP2 Core Values Awards: Each year, IAP2 affiliates around the world recognize leaders in the profession through the IAP2 Core Values Awards. The awarded projects highlight PE innovations across the U.S. and showcase tools, resources, and approaches that might be good models for Forest Service PE practitioners. Check out the awardees and discover this year’s winners how their ideas can work for you! Highlights include an easy-to-use toolkit for measuring public involvement effectiveness and an innovative process to design a community-driven strategic plan.


Race, Equity and Inclusion Workshop: This conference workshop provided practical tools for developing community engagement plans to address topics of racial inequalities, socio-economic disparities, and implicit biases in communities. Check out the Center for Social Inclusion to learn more.


From the Field


Boulder - Creating a Meaningful & Inclusive P2 Culture

The City of Boulder, Colorado adjacent to the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest received an IAP2 Core Value award at the North American Conference. Residents of the community said that they weren’t being “heard” and that decisions were being made without their input. Motivated to do a better job of engaging their publics, the city created a culture of more meaningful and inclusive engagement by undertaking an 18-month, community-member-driven evaluation of its engagement systems and philosophies. At the conclusion, the City of Boulder adopted an Engagement Strategy Framework and created two centralized engagement guidance positions. The framework includes:

  • The purpose of the strategic framework and the city's engagement mission.
  • The strategic objectives and timeline of the activities to meet those objectives.
  • Engagement methods and best practices to follow when pursuing engagement efforts.
  • The city employees and groups who will collaborate to enhance engagement efforts.
  • The process the city will follow to measure progress.

For more information, visit: https://bouldercolorado.gov/engage/engagement-101


Check out the story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgk_IY_EXN0&feature=youtu.be


Trainings, Webinars and Conferences

Community of Practice News and Webinar Series

Join our Forest Service Public Engagement Directory! Share your passion for the public engagement work that you do and learn how to do it better. Our PE CoP brings people together and serves as an opportunity for members to develop personally and professionally. Visit our Community of Practice SharePoint Site or contact Daniel Silvas for more information.


News from the Public Engagement Group

We continue to update and improve the Public Engagement and Collaboration SharePoint site. Check this one-stop shop for PE information, tools, and resources!

Remember to add your name and profile to our Public Engagement Directory.   


EMC Public Engagement Group Contacts

Contact the group at: SM.FS.publicengage@usda.gov, visit EMC's Public Engagement SharePoint site or connect with us individually:


Madelyn Dillon, Strategic Communication Specialist, Madelyn.dillon@usda.gov

Catherine Doyle-Capitman, Social Scientist, catherine.doyle-capitman@usda.gov

Maia Enzer, Planning and Public Engagement Advisor, maia.enzer@usda.gov

Brad Kinder, Public Engagement Specialist, bradley.kinder@usda.gov

Jasmine Napier, Planning Specialist, jasmine.s.napier@usda.gov

Deidra McGee, Program Specialist, deidra.mcgee@usda.gov

Daniel Silvas, Public Engagement Specialist, daniel.silvas@usda.gov 

Michelle Tamez, Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment Specialist, michelle.tamez@usda.gov

Sharon Timko, Public Engagement Specialist, sharon.timko@usda.gov