Air quality and fire management encompasses many stakeholders. By bringing people together from many different perspectives, issues can be addressed before on-the-ground implementation takes place, thereby reducing the number of obstacles which may present themselves later. This process can also increase efficiency by pooling resources, personnel, and experience. Collaboration can help build trust as people work with each other, increase awareness of changing values by bringing multiple perspectives together, and facilitate landscape level management and planning by bringing together groups regardless of property boundaries. The collaboration process also supports science and research through shared learning, experience, and resources.
Considerations in Collaboration
While collaboration can be a great tool for problem solving, it may not be needed in every case. When determining when collaboration may be helpful in a given situation, here are some considerations identified by London (1995):
Stages of Collaboration
There is an ordered series of stages which should be followed when entering the collaboration process. While these are listed in detail by Sturtevant et al. (2007), they are briefly listed below. The details entailed in going through each of these changes will vary depending upon the specific situation, however maintaining this sequence will aid in the collaboration process.
Sturtevant, Victoria; Moote, Margaret Ann; Jakes, Pamela J.; Cheng, Anthony S. 2005. Social science to improve fuels management: a synthesis of research on collaboration. General Technical Report. NC-GTR-257. St. Paul, MN: USDA Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 84 p.