The Growing Phenomenon of Partnerships: A Survey of Personnel Perceptions

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Partnerships have a long history in federal land management, particularly related to trail maintenance and habitat management; however, increasingly constrained appropriations and greater public demand have elevated the agency's use of partnerships from an alternative management strategy to a critical component of task accomplishment. Despite the growing reliance on partnerships to meet management goals, few systematic partnership studies exist. This paper presents survey data collected from agency personnel on 13 national forests identified using stratified random sampling. Results from 611 respondents (40% response rate) illustrate that agency leaders strongly encourage partnerships and partnership reliance has substantially increased over the past 5 years. While partnerships are widely encouraged, few incentives or rewards for employees' partnership work were reported. The study has implications for future partnership development and draws attention to both the need for finding an appropriate balance of partner reliance and the importance of internal support and recognition.

Keywords: institutional support; partnership capacity; public participation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 26, 2013

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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