NEPA provides for working with cooperating agencies, yet many offices lack experienced facilitators to make the most effective use of the process. In my experience, this is less of an issue when the cooperating agencies are all federal, but becomes increasingly important when engaging with local and state government entities due to enormous differences in organizational cultures and expectations. Better guidance on effectively involving cooperating agencies in land use or resource planning processes would be helpful. A prescribed training program for planners to become more effective cooperating agency facilitators would also be helpful. An alternative would be a DOI contract with the private sector, or a pool of qualified DOI facilitators, to provide ongoing facilitation and conflict resolution services specific to NEPA/planning.
Idea No. 62