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This section provides a summary of the project methodology and approach used to analyze and synthesize the Federal Land Transfer process. This project approach consisted of the following primary steps:
Each of these components of the project approach is described in further detail below.
Because it was FHWA's intent for this task order to leverage HEPE's success in using collaborative problem solving and interest-based negotiation methods between Agencies to streamline their environmental review and approval process, the team's first step during October and November 2004 was to review the results from the HEPE Interagency Collaborative Problem Solving Workshops. The purpose of this review was to build on the work completed by HEPE for application to Federal Land Transfers associated with the acquisition of right-of-way on highway projects funded by FHWA. The National Environmental Streamlining Initiatives have been ongoing for over 5 years and are more detailed than the work effort contemplated under this task order. For instance, FHWA has held several multiple-day national workshops with Federal Resource and Permitting Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USFWS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Corps of Engineers (USACE), and state historic property offices (SHPOs) to name a few.
There were three objectives for the review of the HEPE workshops:
In parallel with the review of the HEPE workshop initiative, the team also reviewed a number of existing Interagency Real Estate Agreements and processes. The goal of this review was to identify existing best practices and to identify potential Federal and state staff to participate in detailed interviews and/or stakeholder workshops. In addition, the team learned about other Interagency Agreements, procedure manuals, and documentation during the detailed stakeholder interviews and stakeholder workshops, and these documents were analyzed as appropriate and incorporated into the project working papers. A list of these Interagency Agreements is contained in Appendix E.
As the next step in this study, Dye Management Group, Inc. conducted telephone interviews with a sampling of headquarters and field staff from several Federal Lands Agencies in December 2004 and January 2005. The results of these interviews were then used to help plan the agenda for the series of Interagency workshops conducted during the spring of 2005.
The research approach for conducting these detailed interviews was as follows:
The telephone interviews had a response rate of 59 percent or 38 completed interviews out of a pool of 64 potential interviewees. These 38 interviews were completed with staff from the Agencies identified in Exhibit II-1.
Exhibit II-1: Summary of Interviewees by Agency
|Bureau of Land Management||9|
|Bureau of Indian Affairs||5|
|U.S. Forest Service||11|
|U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service||4|
|FHWA Federal Lands Highway||4|
|Bureau of Reclamation||4|
|U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||1|
Based on the insights gained through the stakeholder interviews and following the general format of the stakeholder workshops conducted as part of the HEPE process, the Dye Management Group, Inc. team developed an agenda for and conducted six one-day workshops nationally. These workshops sought to refine the early interview results and add clarity to how the Federal Land Transfer process is perceived and to what specific needs exist to make it better understood and more workable.
Representatives from FHWA, USFWS, USFS, BLM, BOR, NPS, BIA, and state departments of transportation were invited to attend. The list of potential participants was identified through a variety of channels at the headquarters and field levels, and potential participants were then contacted through e-mail and phone as appropriate.
The purpose of these six workshops was to do the following:
The agenda for each workshop was structured to achieve the following objectives:
The workshops were held during March and April 2005 in Denver; Washington; Sacramento, Calif.; Vancouver, Wash.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Bloomington, Minn. (in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area).
Based on attendee input, slight changes were made in the agenda after the first two workshops, which were held in Denver and Washington, to allow for greater participant input earlier in the morning part of the workshop. This revised agenda was then utilized for the last four workshops. Both the original and revised agendas are provided in Appendix D.
Seventy-three stakeholders from nine Federal Agencies and five state departments of transportation attended the workshops. Exhibit II-2 provides a summary of workshop attendees by Agency. Exhibit II-3 provides a list of workshop attendees by location.
Exhibit II-2: Workshop Attendance by Agency
|Bureau of Land Management||10|
|Bureau of Indian Affairs||0|
|U.S. Forest Service||23|
|U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service||4|
|FHWA Federal Lands Highway||9|
|Bureau of Reclamation||1|
|U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||0|
|National Park Service||3|
|FHWA Division and Headquarters||13|
|State departments of transportation||10|
Exhibit II-3: Workshop Attendance by Location
|Workshop Location||Total Participants|
|Sacramento , Calif.||8|
|Vancouver , Wash.||18|
|Albuquerque , N.M.||11|
|Bloomington , Minn.||7|
The input received from the stakeholders at each of these workshops was a primary input to the analysis conducted by the Dye Management Group, Inc. team and formed a substantial part of the research for the opportunity areas, best practices, and recommendations presented in the next section of this report.