Making Consultation Most Effective


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Making Consultation Most Effective

  1. 1. Making Consultation Most Effective 11 Most Important Principles1. Do it right or do it twice.2. Be inclusive.3. Choose your consultation team carefully.4. Meet early and often.5. Make use of available expertise.6. Keep an open mind.7. Identify real needs and goals; don’t just stake out positions.8. Be honest.9. Choose carefully between process and substance.10. Think outside the box.11. Keep your promises.
  2. 2. 11 Most Important Principles for Effective Consultation • Do it right or do it twice.It’s time consuming, and it can be a pain, but invest the extra effort in doing thebest process you can – even going above and beyond the call of duty.This investment will pay dividends in developing consensus, reducing the risks oflitigation, and building better long-term relationships.Think about “best practices” rather than the “least common denominator.”Park that attitude at the door.Develop and evaluate alternatives and modifications to the project that would avoid,minimize, and mitigate adverse effects. • Be inclusive.Think of the public as a resource, not as a nuisance.Welcome their input.Include all consulting parties who ask to participate. (contra BLM)Don’t worry about parties you may think are motivated by NIMBY concerns, etc.;inclusion is the best deterrent to litigation. • Choose your consultation team carefully.Lock your litigators in the closet. Keep them on a leash with a muzzle.Agency counsel can be valuable, but personality is crucial.If there are others on your team who have abrasive personalities, keep them inbackground roles. The cultural resource professionals and the SHPOs have to worktogether on an ongoing basis, and this can poison the relationship for years.This is especially important when you’re involved in consultation with Tribes.Issues of protocol and respect are extremely important to Tribes, and one cowboycan really tarnish the relationships long-term. Avoid good cop/bad cop.Recognize that there are some we can’t control – e.g., applicants, consulting partieswho are very difficult. But we can control our own team. • Meet early and often.Conference calls are also important.Go on-site where possible.
  3. 3. • Make use of available expertise.Include your CR professionals in the meetings.Include your CR consultants.Give them leeway to speak up. (e.g., Glen Mason)Bring in agency staff with expertise – e.g., Horace Foxall (Naval postgraduateschool, Monterey – he converted the project from a demolition project to apreservation award-winner)Recognize that experts can sometimes find ways to make preservation work evenwhen we can’t envision how it could be possible. (Abba Lichtenstein) • Keep an open mind.Ask “Is there a way we could make this work?”Realize that you may come out of the process with a resolution that you never evenimagined going in. (Pearl Harbor Tank bldg; PATH terminal) • Identify real needs and goals; don’t just stake out positions.Don’t bring 125 reasons why you can’t save the building.Identify the agency’s actual needs and goals.Are there other ways to meet those needs and goals?Seek win-win solutions.“Precedent” can be one of the issues.Look long term. • Be honest.Candor builds trust.Put your cards on the table.Hiding information poisons relationships and is damaging in the long-run, even if youfeel a thrill in the short-term about being able to pull the wool over the eyes of theother side. • Choose carefully between process and substance commitments.Process allows a faster agreement (PA or MOA), but postpones hard decisions thatmay come back to bite you. (Corridor H)
  4. 4. You may not realize how different your expectations are (Ford Is housing)On the other hand, a “process” agreement, where the actual decision is postponed,can give good ideas and solutions time to be developed to the point of viability.Pensacola was a combination of process and substance. • Think outside the box.Section 106 provides an opportunity to custom-design your mitigation.Be creative! (See list below.)Consider using Section 106 to accomplish Section 110.Look for opportunities to transform future working relationships. • Keep your promises.Make sure you live up to commitments in the Section 106 agreement.Monitor and enforce mitigation commitments.This will enhance your future credibility.Creative Mitigation o Preservation Funds (Long Beach, Athens Power Plant, DC Convention Center) o Preservation Plans, surveys, ICRMPs o CR staff/professional qualifications o Easement acquisition o Documentation beyond the chalk line around the dead body – websites, videos, traveling exhibits, etc. o Salvage (Pearl Harbor tank building) o Relocation of historic properties rather than demolition o Long-term mechanisms for working together in the future (Training, Task Force, Annual meeting, Design Review, etc.) o Secondary/cumulative impacts (restrictions on expansion; use of local land use regulations)