Reflections from USDA Forest Service employees on institutional constraints to engaging and serving their local communities
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Journal of Forestry 43-48
Although community relationship building has been recognized since the early 1980s as integral to forest management, it has not been widely supported or adopted. Today, relationship building depends largely on the innovation and commitment of forest supervisors and staff. The institutional environment and its culture play an important role in building capacity for relationship building with communities at each unit, as well as supporting employees? attempts to serve local communities. The research presented takes an in-depth look at the institutional constraints to engaging and serving local communities from the perspectives of 20 USDA Forest Service personnel from three units. Research findings reveal agency, unit, and employee level constraints including, diminished resources, increased departmentalism, staff turnover, and long-distance commuting. We recommend that the Forest Service provides opportunities for successful relationship building efforts and assesses innovative techniques in a Community Partnerships Demonstration Project.
Keywordscommunities, relationship building, USDA Forest Service, institutional constraints
Davenport, Mae A.; Anderson, Dorothy H.; Leahy, Jessica E.; Jakes, Pamela J. 2007. Reflections from USDA Forest Service employees on institutional constraints to engaging and serving their local communities. Journal of Forestry 43-48