Environmental Dispute Resolution Program Update

Feb 29, 2024 | Stegner Center

The Wallace Stegner Center’s Environmental Dispute Resolution (EDR) Program fosters a culture of collaboration around environmental, natural resource, and broader public policy issues by helping people be more skillful in working through conflict. In particular, the EDR Program focuses on building capacity for collaboration through training, thought leadership, and collaboration assistance and advising.

During the 2023-2024 academic year, the EDR Program trained more than 200 people in the skills of conflict competence and collaboration. As part of this, the EDR Program offered two separate sections of its flagship Collaboration Certificate Course (CCC), an intensive 50-hour training that teaches the “art and science” of collaborative problem-solving: one section was for a diverse mix of environmental, natural resource and public policy professionals from across the U.S. and Canada; the other, which was offered in partnership with the BLM’s Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution Program, was specifically for federal land management agency employees. In spring 2024, EDR Program Director Danya Rumore also offered a new graduate-level bootcamp course “Negotiating Conflict” for students in the S.J. Quinney College of Law and City and Metropolitan Planning Department; the course will be offered again in fall 2024.

The EDR Program is committed to being a thought leader in the field of environmental and public policy conflict resolution and collaboration. The program continues to host the EDR Blog, which publishes monthly articles on topics related to conflict competence and collaboration. In the last 6 months, EDR Program team members were quoted in several media pieces, including The Atlantic (“The state that’s trying to rein in DEI without becoming Florida”), High Country News (“Could building on public lands address the housing crisis?”), Salt Lake Tribune (Could public lands be key to solving the housing shortage?"), and Livingston Enterprise (“Community survey finds pessimism, but opportunity”). Additionally, EDR Program team members gave numerous invited talks on conflict and collaboration-related topics at conferences, including keynote presentations at the Mountain and Resort Town Planners Summit and the Mountain West Trails Conference.

Since 2020, the EDR Program has partnered with the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University to host the Gateway and Natural Amenity Region (GNAR) initiative. The GNAR Initiative, with the EDR Program’s support, recently launched the GNAR Academy, an online training program that will help Western gateway communities and regions prepare for and respond to the unique planning and development challenges they face.

To learn more about the EDR Program, visit https://www.law.utah.edu/stegner-center/edr/