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Meridian Institute

National Environmental Policy Act Pilot Projects Initiative

Related: Environment and Natural Resources

At the request of US Senators Craig Thomas, Max Baucus, Mike Crapo, and Harry Reid, the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution was asked to explore how pilot projects could be used to determine how collaboration, consensus building, and appropriate dispute resolution processes could improve the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Senators asked specifically about the potential application of collaborative approaches to NEPA activities in the context of natural resource management and public lands issues.


The US Institute hired Meridian to assist with project design and implementation, with a particular focus on the integration of diverse stakeholder perspectives. In January 2001, Meridian and US Institute staff held a briefing for about 20 Senate staffers to introduce them to the project. Over the next few months, Meridian staff consulted with a number of stakeholders, NEPA experts, and those experienced with collaborative processes and conflict resolution to help develop a balanced and effective approach to the proposed project. A public forum/workshop was held in May 2001, and a notice was included in the Federal Register to solicit broader public comment. Based on this input, the US Institute submitted formal recommendations to the Senators on a NEPA pilot projects initiative in June 2001.

Project Contacts