Successful stakeholder involvement is vital to watershed planning and projects. Stakeholders bring a wealth of information about your community into the watershed management planning process. In many communities, stakeholders will include a diverse representation from many individuals who have different (and sometimes conflicting) opinions about how natural resources should be managed.
Many watershed efforts find the key to representative stakeholder involvement is building effective partnerships with other community initiatives.
An amazing array of tools and resources exist to support your efforts to harness the energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge your community and potential future partners have to offer:
- Chapter 3 U.S. EPA Handbook (Build Partnerships) [PDF] and Chapter 1 Indiana Watershed Planning Guide (Building Local Partnerships) [PDF]:
- These chapters contain information on how to identify stakeholders and get them involved in the watershed planning process, as well as how to integrate other local, state, or federal programs with your planning efforts.
- Steering Committee Recruitment Package [PDF]:
- This package includes a sample organizational recruitment letter, sample individual recruitment letter, a list of information to include in the recruitment package, and a reply postcard template.
- Collaborative Approaches to Natural Resource Management:
- The Ruckelshaus Institute works to find different ways to bring stakeholders into conversation and to a decision when natural resources are in dispute. This website includes links to additional resources for facilitators and mediators.
- Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (National Park Service) Community Toolbox:
- This website includes information on decision-making, facilitation, meetings, outreach, and organizing.
- Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed [PDF]:
- This handbook provides useful tips on engaging people in all aspects of watershed planning from outreach and education, to committees, resolving conflict and sustaining the effort.
- NRCS Social Sciences Team Publications - People, Partnerships, and Communities Series:
- Provides resources to assist you in working with people during your watershed planning efforts.
Are You a Stakeholder?
Be sure to browse our website. You might be particularly interested in the Indiana Watershed Planning Guide, e303(d), the Indiana Watershed Group Finder (at Purdue University), and the Watershed Toolkit. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact us.