The Langdon Group, in coordination with the University of Utah Stegner Center’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Program, put together a three-phase Utah Program on Collaboration to help agencies effectively collaborate on ENR issues. The University of Utah will coordinate and execute the third phase of this effort.

The Issues: Environmental and natural resource (ENR) issues are scientifically, politically, culturally, and emotionally complex and occur in an atmosphere that is often adversarial. Government agencies are tasked with navigating these complexities while non-government interests are increasingly demanding a “seat at the table.” There are many commonalities between the success and failure of complex, multi-agency projects in Utah. Specific collaborative actions can radically increase the probability of success and the timely completion of a project.

Addressing the Issues: Endangered species, wildfire, air quality and drought top the list of environmental and natural resource needs in Utah and the western United States. On November 19, 2015, The Langdon Group, the University of Utah Stegner Center’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Program, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, in coordination with Alan Matheson and Governor Herbert, played host to a wide variety of federal and state agency leaders to discuss success and opportunities in multi-agency collaboration for environmental and natural resources. This meeting was titled the Utah Forum on Collaboration

Results and Benefits: The goal of the Forum was to use feedback from agencies to enhance collaborative opportunities among decision makers. The Forum provided an opportunity for decision-makers at state and federal agencies to learn from each other and share experiences and challenges with collaborative problem-solving. The Forum provided participants with the tools needed to identify opportunities for collaboration, implement best practices, as well as monitor efforts to evaluate effectiveness.

Additionally, the Forum aimed to increase agencies’ understanding of collaborative approaches and how they can be utilized to improve their ability to efficiently and effectively do their work. Attendees ranged from Federal, State, and local governmental agencies, in addition to several non-governmental organizations.

View the Forum on Collaboration materials:

“The Forum on Collaboration was the first of three offerings for state and federal agency leaders to convene and talk about what is working and where there are opportunities for improvement in how we can collaboratively solve tough environmental and natural resource issues in Utah.” – Dan Adams, Executive Director of the Langdon Group

Dialogues on Collaboration
The second phase of the Utah Program on Collaboration will be Dialogues on Collaboration. The dialogues will be held quarterly to provide opportunities for participants to delve more deeply into specific ENR collaboration topics or challenges.

Effective Natural Resource Collaboration Short Course
The third phase in the Utah Program on Collaboration will be the Effective Natural Resource Collaboration Short Course. The short course will be a skill-based training covering the fundamentals of collaborative problem-solving in the context of ENR issues, and it will be developed by teh University of Utah.

To find our more information about the Utah Program on Collaboration please contact Dan Adams at dadams@langdongroupinc.com or  801-520-4762.