Blues Coalition Science, Management and Collaboration Workshop

Posted by Hannah Meganck on August 2, 2016

August 17-18, 2016 in John Day, Oregon

Collaborative members and partners meeting in John Day, Oregon.
Collaborative members and partners meeting in John Day, Oregon.

On August 17-18, Sustainable Northwest gathered over 55 researchers, agency partners, and members of five forest collaborative groups working on the Wallowa Whitman, Umatilla, Ochoco and Malheur National Forests to explore how collaboratives use science, information, and technology to advance their agreements while addressing the social complexities of collaboration. This was the first in a series of workshops hosted by Sustainable Northwest called “Science, Management, and the Art of Collaboration Workshop Series.” 

Sustainable Northwest and the Blues Coalition will be addressing one topic of interest in each upcoming workshop, This workshop successfully kicked off that series with Riparian Ecosystems and Aquatic Food Webs. 

This workshop encouraged participants to take an in-depth look at how forest collaborative stakeholders and partners can create more comprehensive strategies for integrating science, policy, technology, and the understanding of social values into their decision-making for landscape scale restoration in riparian areas. Moving forward, the goal is to create a robust knowledge-sharing network across the Blue Mountains where collaboratives can share best practices, lessons learned, new research, and can respond to landscape scale restoration with an expansive coalition of connected citizens. 

The workshop included discussions on the broader ecological context of riparian science, and it delved deeper into the interactions of large woody debris on aquatic habitats. The workshop also included a segment highlighting monitoring initiatives currently happening on national forests in the Blue Mountains. 

Because law and policy can be a science in itself, attendees received an overview of current management policies and how collaboration is finding its place at that table. 

We live in an exciting world where technology is informing the way decisions are made about natural resource management. We were proud to host a researcher who gave us an overview of the spatial analysis tool NetMap including its potential to help community-based resource management groups understand future effects of restoration. 

The day concluded with a social panel that addressed the complex nature of collaboration, and the trust, relationships, and dialogue that it fosters. The panel was valuable in illuminating the hard work of collaborative groups, as well as addressing potential growth and innovation for the future. Participants traveled to the Malheur National Forest the following morning to see a current riparian restoration project first hand.

Sustainable Northwest is excited to continue to develop the strategy of the Blues Coalition. We are working with the Blues Coalition to build a network of collaboratives to share knowledge and build capacity. Our goal is to strengthen the comprehensive information base allowing collaboratives to make informed, collective decisions to restore critical forests, habitats, and communities.     

Please stayed tuned for information on the next workshop in our Science, Management, and Art of Collaboration Series.

For more information about this and future workshops, or the Blues Coalition, contact:

Kendal Martel, Forest Program Associate,, (936)671-3523

We would like to extend a huge amount of thanks to our wonderful speakers. Please find their presentations below:

Ecological Overview of Riparian Areas in the Blue Mountains ~ Trent Seager, Science Advisor for Blue Mountains Forest Partners

Aquatic Strategies, Riparian Management, and ESA ~ John Chatel, U.S. Forest Service Regional Office

Riparian Restoration: Science, Social Acceptance and the Role of Monitoring ~ Sabine Mellmann-Brown, Area Ecologist, US Forest Service

Streamside Forests, Channel Constraint, Large Woody Debris Characteristics, and Pool Morphology in Low Order Steams ~ Jerry Cordova, US Fish and Wildlife Service

NetMap: Watershed Catalogue and Analysis Tools ~Gordon Reeves, Research Fish Biologist, Pacific Northwest Research Station

This workshop is brought to you by:


Thank you to our sponsors: