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Profiling Collaborative Natural Resource Initiatives and Active Participants

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Managers and citizens are becoming more involved in a collaborative management approach to natural resource decision-making. However, a limited amount of research has examined the profile of collaborative natural resource initiatives (CI) and its participants. The purpose of this study was to examine 30 CIs from across the United States and the “active participants” involved with the CIs. Using a mail survey, 647 stakeholders were queried about the CI including mission, size, membership, duration, motives for participation in the CI, and keys to successful collaboration. Reasons for stakeholder involvement included responsibility, concern over natural resource issues, and developing better partnerships. Keys to successful collaboration included six areas: development, information exchange, organizational support, personal communication, relationships/team building, and accomplishments. Practical information of results for stakeholders as well as resource managers involved in collaboration include: understanding participant motives, agreeing on mission, thorough and accurate communications, and developing support and relationships. Suggestions are given for future research on measuring success and including numerous perspectives on collaboration.
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Keywords: Collaborative initiatives; USDA Forest Service; natural resource partnerships; stakeholder motivation; successful collaboration

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: West Virginia University, PO Box 6125 Morgantown, WV, 26506-6125,

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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