Public land managers must treat multiple values coincidentally in time and space, which requires the participation of multiple resource specialists and consideration of diverse clientele interests in the decision process. This implies decision making that includes multiple participants, both internally and externally. Decades of social science research on decision making by groups have provided insights into the impediments to effective group processes. Nevertheless, there has been little progress in producing more rigorous and accountable decision processes in land management. The authors* experiences with temporary, formal groups (workshops) have led them to develop a process for group decision making that combines (1) a strawman document to initiate and pattern group discussion, (2) brainstorming to generate ideas, and (3) the analytic hierarchy process to produce judgements, manage conflict, and develop implementation plans. An application of this group process to program development in fire research in a workshop setting indicates that it is efficient and cost effective, and provides a large amount of useful quantitative information about group preferences.