Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
The Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) provides leadership, guidance and assistance for the Department of the Interior on appropriate dispute resolution and effective conflict management, including early consensus-building and collaborative problem-solving and decision-making. The work of this office is accomplished in collaboration with the Interior Dispute Resolution Council (IDRC). The CADR office and the members of the IDRC produced the following overview of our shared vision and mission.
CADR OFFICE ESTABLISHED The Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) was established by Secretarial Order, dated October 28, 2001, to report to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Performance, Accountability and Human Resources in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. The Department's Dispute Resolution Specialist is the Director of the office. The mission of CADR supports the Secretary's commitment to the 4 Cs: conservation through communication, cooperation and consultation.
VISION CADR will promote a culture and a climate throughout the Department of the Interior where appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms and collaborative and consensus-building processes are used effectively to assess, prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in all areas of the Department's work.
MISSION CADR will work with all bureaus and offices to develop, coordinate implementation, and ensure continuous improvement, of a comprehensive Departmental policy on the appropriate and effective use of early cooperative efforts, consensus-building, and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes to assist the Department in accomplishing its missions. The goal of the ADR policy is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department's operations, enhance communication, and strengthen relationships within the Department and with all customers, constituents, private organizations and businesses, Federal, State, Tribal and local government entities, and local communities with which the Department interacts to accomplish its work.
CADR GUIDING PRINCIPLES To realize our vision and mission, we adhere to the following principles: 1. Commitment to provide proactive, innovative, adaptive leadership seeking continuous improvement. 2. Commitment to model collaborative, consensual approach to planning, problem-solving and decision-making. 3. Commitment to promote effective coordination with clear, open, honest communication. 4. Commitment to build trust and strong working relationships with employees and organizations throughout the Department and with external parties. 5. Commitment to strive for excellence and to add value by our participation. 6. Commitment to create awareness and understanding of our mission. 7. An effective conflict management system is a shared responsibility and informed and engaged individuals are its foundation.
OBJECTIVES 1. Promote appropriate use to produce more equitable and durable solutions and policies. 2. Educate and build capacity. 3. Establish clear and consistent guidance on when and how to use ADR processes and where to seek ADR assistance. 4. Maximize the shared use of resources and reduce administrative redundancy. 5. Improve customer service internally and externally. 6. Save time and reduce cost of conflict. 7. Improve coordination of efforts and communication and cooperation between bureaus and offices. 8. Share successes and lessons learned. 9. Improve relationships between parties.
CADR OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS 1. Develop a comprehensive Departmental ADR policy. 2. Prepare a strategic plan for accomplishing the mission. 3. Establish and chair the Department's Interior Dispute Resolution Council. 4. Provide clear, consistent guidance in support of full and effective implementation of the ADR policy. 5. Lead system design and program development efforts. 6. Create mechanisms to ensure quality of programs and initiatives. 7. Develop uniform tracking and evaluation systems and reporting tools. 8. Produce and distribute Department-wide marketing, outreach and promotional materials. 9. Establish goals and performance measures for program areas and initiatives. 10. Coordinate with DOI University on a comprehensive training strategy. 11. Provide consulting services and assistance to senior managers and others. 12. Facilitate intra-Departmental communication and coordination. 13. Establish Departmental web site with an electronic information system accessible by all employees. 14. Establish and maintain mechanisms for obtaining qualified external dispute resolution and consensus-building professionals and ADR service providers. 15. Establish and maintain a mechanism for access to qualified in-house ADR service providers. 16. Explore a pilot project on the use of “volunteers” as external neutrals. 17. Study and report on the cost and benefits of using internal and external neutrals. 18. Identify and lead development of pilot projects, such as the SOL Early Case Assessment pilot program in Atlanta. 19. Identify barriers to full implementation of the Department's policy and recommend solutions. 20. Create incentives to increase and improve programmatic use of ADR processes and collaborative approaches, e.g. performance standards, ADR awards. 21. Serve as the ADR information clearinghouse for the Department. 22. Represent the Department on ADR and serve as liaison to the ADR community. 23. Prepare an annual report for the Secretary.
INTERIOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION COUNCIL The IDRC is a Department team comprised of designated Bureau Dispute Resolution Specialists (BDRS) and Departmental representatives. The IDRC provides effective coordination; ensures consistent guidance; establishes minimum standards on common issues; allows for consistent monitoring, evaluating and reporting on progress of all ADR programs and initiatives throughout bureaus and offices. IDRC members ensure that sufficient time, attention and expertise are devoted to increasing and improving the use of ADR in all areas and build understanding, capacity and support for the shared vision and mission.
BDRS ORGANIZATIONAL PLACEMENT The BDRS should be housed organizationally, within each Bureau, so as to afford the following: 1. Optimal support for ADR across the Bureau 2. Neutrality and independence 3. Access to senior managers, decision-makers and policy-makers 4. Visibility and stature 5. Ability to coordinate with all Bureau components to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts arising in any area of the Bureau's work 6. All parties have access to BDRS
BDRS ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 1. Develop Bureau plan and formal guidance to ensure full implementation of the Department policy and ensure that Bureau programs and initiatives are in compliance. 2. Assist Bureau personnel and parties with process design, selection of neutrals, referrals and convening of cases/projects as requested. 3. Ensure quality skills training consistent with Departmental training strategy. 4. Serve as ADR expert and primary point of contact within Bureau – welcomes inquiries, offers assistance and disseminates information. 5. Promote and market ADR policies and programs within the Bureau and with Bureau constituents. 6. Implement tracking and evaluation systems to monitor Bureau activity. 7. Report on Bureau ADR activity. 8. Identify opportunities for the use of ADR and make recommendations. 9. Identify barriers to the use of ADR and make recommendations. 10.Work with CADR office to establish performance measures. 11.Establish and maintain coordination mechanisms to support the development of an integrated conflict management system.
MODEL KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES (KSA) for BDRS 1. Expert knowledge of ADR laws, regulations, policies, guidelines, and accepted principles. Expert knowledge of ADR processes and existing resources. 2. Expert knowledge of Bureau mission, policies, organizational structure and culture. 3. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with all levels within the Bureau and with diverse audiences within and outside of DOI. 4. Demonstrated ability to analyze inter-and intra-organizational conflict and to suggest productive ways to address or resolve such conflict. 5. Demonstrated ability to successfully work in a collaborative manner, contribute to team efforts, and build and maintain effective working relationships between ADR programs and other programs within own Bureau and with other Bureaus and offices. 6. Ability to keep abreast of and disseminate current materials, information, research, studies, reports, guidance and policies related to ADR. 7. Ability to gather data and provide a clear and concise analysis of findings and results. 8. Demonstrated ability to prepare written reports and clearly express ideas and proposals in writing. 9. Demonstrated program management skills including the ability to assemble resources, and effectively manage the work of staff and teams. 10. Demonstrated ability to quickly understand issues and facts of situations/disputes and to help others identify their interests and options for meeting their own, the organization's, the taxpayers', and other stakeholders' interests. The ability to persuade people to move from positional to interest based approaches. 11. Demonstrated ability to gain parties' trust and competence to provide consultation and assistance on dispute resolution approaches.
DEPARTMENTAL REPRESENTATIVE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 1. Assist CADR and Bureaus to develop policies, guidelines, and standards on the appropriate use of ADR processes. 2. Provide subject matter expertise and technical guidance to IDRC for their office/functional area. 3. Serve as ADR primary point of contact within office - welcomes inquiries, offers assistance and disseminates information. 4. Promote and market ADR policies and programs within their offices and functional areas. 5. Assist in identifying opportunities and barriers and providing recommendations. 6. Assist in ensuring effective coordination of efforts to support the appropriate and effective use of ADR.