Two separate three-day stakeholder and citizens’ panels (CJ-type event) considering land management options in northern New Mexico, using a GIS mediated process.
Problems and Purpose
The North-Central New Mexico Landscape Assessment was a collaborative, landscape-scale effort that engaged stakeholders in a series of meetings and workshops to identify and prioritize areas of forest and associated lands in greatest need of management attention. The focal landscape assessment area included public, tribal, and private lands within a 3.4 million-acre study region.
A 2-year process culminated in a three-day workshop in October 2006, where over 50 regional stakeholders were convened to address these issues using a spatial decision support system designed by the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Analysis (ForestERA) Project at Northern Arizona University (NAU). ForestERA staff, along with staff from the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Guild and the Australian National University, provided a forum where stakeholder values, concerns, and ideas could be translated into spatially-explicit prioritization and management action scenarios based on the best available science. The result was a set of science-based solutions which met national policy priorities while remaining grounded in the needs of local stakeholders.
A second three-day workshop using a similar format was also conducted in conjunction with the Australian National University involving citizens drawn from the Northern Arizona Region.
Background History and Context
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Methods and Tools Used
The method involved a mediated deliberative approach using GIS tools developed by the ForestERA team at Northern Arizona University.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Participants in the workshops were divided into groups as a means of exploring alternative approaches to common problems. The results of these breakout group exercises indicated high levels of participant agreement about landscape-scale values, and risks to these values. In particular, workshop participants valued the preservation and restoration of healthy watersheds, biodiversity, and water resources. Risks to these values included the potentially negative consequences of increased development, political barriers, inaction, and poor land management practices.
These values were translated in a variety of ways by the groups, leading to the creation of series of maps and other spatial data products reflecting a detailed and spatially explicit understanding of management priorities and appropriate actions. While some differences in priority areas for treatment are evident in management scenario maps, overall, there was a reasonable level of concurrence among groups’ priorities. Agreement tended to be highest in those locations where high fire risk and hazard, important watersheds and water resource areas, areas threatened by urbanization and high diversity habitats coincided. High priority areas crossed many land jurisdictions, included watersheds for drinking water and the headwaters of major drainages, and areas of the wildland-urban interface (WUI) that intermix with diverse vegetation types and areas of high cultural value.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
A report was produced reporting on the findings of the stakeholder process for distribution to policy makers (see below).
Analysis and Lessons Learned
Because the overarching project was not originally commissioned to include wider citizen participation, the citizens' process was not included in report. The results, however, have been used as part of a wider project to demonstrate the capacity for citizen deliberation (link )
Niemeyer, Simon John, Francesco Veri, John S. Dryzek, André Bächtiger, and Mark E. Warren. 2021. How deliberation happens: Enabling and activating deliberative reasoning. Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra (Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra). Download