Statement on the Transition of the National Roster of Environmental Conflict Resolution Professionals
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation’s (Udall Foundation) John S. McCain III National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution (National Center) has recently made the determination that future administration of the National Roster of Environmental Conflict Resolution Professionals (Roster) will need to occur outside of the auspices of the Udall Foundation. The Roster is a database of more than 300 highly qualified and experienced professionals who resolve environmental disputes and support collaborative solutions to complex public issues. It is an online tool available for public use currently administered by the National Center. Federal agencies, State and Local governments, Tribes, nonprofits, and the private sector use the Roster to locate professional mediators, facilitators, and conflict resolution service providers. While the National Center is saddened that its administration of the Roster will come to an end, staff members are proud of the work that has gone into it, including the efforts of the community of practitioners and the body of work reflected in it.
History of the Roster
The Roster was initially developed as a partnership between the National Center (then named the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and environmental collaboration and conflict resolution (ECCR) practitioners, among others. Countless hours and resources have been invested to develop, maintain, and advance the Roster application and to maintain member profiles and information. Since its inception in 1998, more than 300 members joined the Roster, which has served as a resource for representatives of Federal, Tribal, and State governments; nongovernmental organizations; industry; academia; and the public.
Next Steps for the Roster
Recognizing the value that the Roster has provided to the ECCR community, the National Center hopes to identify an organization or organizations that will be able to offer a home where the Roster can flourish. National Center staff members know that the Roster can remain a viable and important tool in the ECCR field. As such, the National Center is committed to a staged wind-down of its role administering the Roster to give space for discussion about its future among interested parties. National Center staff have initiated discussions with like-minded organizations to explore alternatives for a new venue, while also recognizing that an ideal venue may not exist. As we continue down this road, we will provide updates to our current Roster members on those discussions and any potential impacts for them. In the meantime, the Roster application will remain live on the Udall Foundation’s website, and Roster members will continue to be able to access their Roster profile and information.
Continuing Support for ECCR in the Federal Government
Moving forward, the National Center will continue to advocate for and support the use of ECCR approaches in the Federal Government and, as appropriate, will provide facilitation, mediation, assessment, and capacity-building services to Federal agencies and their partners. Work conducted under contract by private and university-based ECCR practitioners has been critical to the National Center’s ability to provide ECCR support to agencies across the Federal Government. The Udall Foundation recently took action to strengthen its partnership with ECCR professionals through the hiring of a full-time contracting officer, which will allow the agency to move all contracting actions in-house for the first time in nearly a decade. National Center staff will be exploring options to leverage this change to support contractors, streamline contracting operations, and create additional efficiencies benefiting the National Center, its contractors, and its Federal partners.
For more information about the National Center and its collaboration, consensus-building, and conflict resolution services, please visit its program page.
About the Udall Foundation
The Udall Foundation awards Scholarships, Fellowships, and Internships for study in fields related to the environment and to Native Americans and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and Tribal public policy; connects youth from underserved communities to the Nation’s public lands and natural resources to foster greater understanding, appreciation, stewardship, and enjoyment of those lands and resources through photography, positive outdoor experiences, and environmental education through Parks in Focus®; provides funding to the Native Nations Institute for research, education, and outreach on Native American and Alaska Native health care issues and Tribal public policy issues; provides funding to the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy to conduct policy research and outreach on the environment and related themes; and provides impartial collaboration, consensus-building, and conflict resolution services on a wide range of environmental, natural and cultural resources, Tribal, and public lands issues involving the Federal Government through the John S. McCain III National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution.
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