Time Period: 2000S
(2000) With facilitation by the IEN, a twenty-two member Advisory Committee met for six all-day meetings to discuss and debate how best to protect public health, minimize the need for remedial action, and reduce permitting delays for Virginia's onsite septic system permitting and inspection program. Following a charge by the General Assembly to privatize the onsite septic system program, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) had been grappling with the difficult issues associated with privatization of functions that required continued public oversight. The Committee developed a consensus... Continue reading →
(1999 - 2000) The Town of Shenandoah lies just below Shenandoah National Park. A Brownfields Assessment Pilot grant, finalized in October 1998, provided $200,000 to help the town determine any contamination present in the soil or groundwater of the 65-acre \"Big Gem\" site, where an iron furnace had long ago ceased operations, and to create a cleanup and redevelopment plan. To structure the process, the EPA offered the help of the Harrisonburg Community Mediation Center and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation to the Town of Shenandoah. For the two year process that followed, IEN... Continue reading →
(2004) Communities throughout Virginia face many complex challenges such as water supply, transportation, affordable housing, community safety, and growth. Too often efforts to address these problems fail because individuals and agencies are working in isolation from one another. Public officials and civic-minded community members find few forums that bring people together to seek common and higher ground; indeed, the formal structure of public hearings and judicial and administrative appeals often exacerbates rather than resolves conflict. Utilizing a... Continue reading →
(2000) During its second year, the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) began a strategic planning process and identified near-term goals for the organization. The VWMC developed working committees, organized and initiated an on-going inventory of water-monitoring activities in the state, and developed a survey to determine the needs of organizations involved in monitoring throughout the state. IEN facilitated this Strategic Planning process.
One of the United States’ most beautiful places is also the home of one of its most shameful episodes. Bainbridge Island, home to some twenty-three thousand people, has gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier, the Seattle skyline, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. On March 30, 1942, 227 Bainbridge Island men, women and children of Japanese ancestry – more than half of whom were United States citizens – began their long trek into betrayal, as they left the island under armed guard to what was for them an unknown destination. These were the first of more than 120,000 citizens and immigrants... Continue reading →
(2003) Based on the success of the VNRLI program, a partnership among the IEN, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Forestry developed a new multistate Natural Resource Leadership Institute for the southeast. Funded in large part by the U.S. Forest Service, participation was opened to 13 states and 1 territory that comprise the USFS southeastern region. The SE-NRLI program was developed to focus on emerging regional issues and strategies for collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution. Anyone involved with regional environmental and land use issues in the southeast may... Continue reading →
(2005-2006) This set of workshops brought stakeholders together for collaborative planning of off-highway vehicle routes on National Forest lands. Workshops took place in, Missoula, MT, Flagstaff, AZ, Albuquerque, NM, Sacramento, CA, Steamboat Springs, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and Bend OR. The training responded to a new US Forest Service travel planning rule that requires all National Forests to designate trails and routes and open spaces that are and are not open to motorized vehicles. IEN provided training in collaborative planning for the stakeholders representing different user groups... Continue reading →
IEN mediated a dispute between the residents of St. Michaels, Maryland and developer Midland Real Estate Company concerning acceptible development density and good design. A committee composed of town representatives and the developers agreed on several points and created a final report for the Town Commisioners. Two members of the committee dissented from the final mediation consensus statement and the final report was never submitted to the Town Commissioners. The future of the proposed development remains unclear, but one can expect additional opposition and negotiation if the plan... Continue reading →
(2006) IEN worked with a stakeholder planning committee to design the second invitation-only high level stakeholder-based Governor's Summit. The Summit identified key issues that need to be addressed in protecting Virginia's natural resources, as well as potential solutions and priorities for the next five years.
(2002) The IEN was asked to design and facilitate a process for engaging citizens in the five counties to develop a Heritage Tourism map, which would include historical, cultural and environmental sites, events, and facilities that will entice heritage tourists to see and do more in the region. An IEN team of Tanya Denckla and Karen Firehock, assisted by Wanda SanJule, developed stakeholder “Heritage Tourism teams” in each of the five counties. These teams developed categories for possible heritage tourism sites and events, and criteria for narrowing and prioritizing. After the Teams... Continue reading →