In 2007, the Forest Service Office of International Programs (IP) asked TRG to support the design and facilitation of the International Seminar on Watershed Management. This seminar was followed by the International Seminar on Climate Change and Natural Resources Management. In collaboration with technical experts from IP and their partners, TRG has continued to support the design and delivery of these international seminars every year since. TRG now co-leads 10 international seminars:
- Climate Change and Natural Resource Management – Sacramento, San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, CA
- Mining – Tucson and Phoenix, AZ
- Watershed Management – Tucson, Safford, Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ
- Protected Area Management – Missoula, MT
- Urban Forestry – Chicago, IL and NYC, NY
- Disaster Management – San Francisco, CA and active fire camps
- Forest Landscape Restoration – Portland, Bend, John Day, OR
- Livestock Grazing Management – ID, NV, WA
- Law Enforcement – Southern USA (Piloting in 2020!)
- Community Resilience – Atlanta and Savannah, GA (Piloting in 2020!)
With each annual seminar, the IP-TRG team holds a 2-day after action review as the first step in preparing for next year’s seminar. The after action includes a review of participant evaluations and a day-by-day walk-through to identify specific improvements. The TRG facilitator updates the staff and participant materials and also conducts phone and Skype interviews with participants in the next seminar once selected by IP. In the case of new seminars, TRG facilitators work with identified presenters to assure presentations are focuses on seminar goals and include participatory methodology.
The international seminars have impact at several levels:
- Length of seminars helps in building collegial relationships, resulting in networks of practitioners.
- Help to reframe conservation approaches, highlighting the value of partnerships – government, NGOs and communities.
- Generate practical and doable approaches to change, e.g., grazing rotation, formalization of artisanal mining, community-driven watershed protection and management, etc.
- Influence the design of new development and conservation programs, such as the USAID/Nepal Paani Project dedicated to water resource management.