Common Ground: Finding Opportunities for Partnership between Federal Lands and their Gateway Communities

APA Federal Planning Division


Thursday, April 26, 2018
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CDT

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Some 640 million acres of federal land—comprised of national parks and forests, military bases, wildlife management areas—are broken up into tens of thousands of smaller units of land, typically surrounded by local, state, and/or tribal lands. Many real and conceptual elements cross the boundary between these lands--transportation networks, natural features, visual corridors, economies. Forming partnerships around these linkages presents an opportunity for federal lands agencies to advance their missions, and for gateway communities to realize their local and regional community goals.


Learning Objectives:

·         Share examples of successful partnerships between federal agencies, and with local communities.

·         Understand challenges to partnering with other agencies and local communities.

·         Inspire federal agencies to explore partnership opportunities.

·         Develop interagency relationships to encourage cross-collaboration and learning.

Examples to be shared may include:

·         Co-developing and sharing data analysis tools and information between agencies, such as the NPS Park Transportation Investment Needs Assessment (PaTINA) and the FWS-NPS Wildlilfe-Vehicle Collision Tool;

·         Partnering with local communities to improve access to public lands, such as the US Forest Service’s planning and implementation of shuttle service for visitors to Colorado’s Federal lands to mitigate local congestion, environmental, and safety issues;

Coordinating an “Urban Connections Program” to provide access for underserved populations to FWS’s urban wildlife refuges;

·         Understanding impacts on local economies and seeking partnerships to expand funding opportunities.

Importance to FPD Members:

·         Communication and relationship-building with local communities can help federal agencies advance their mission: through better access to public lands, reduced burdens on local community transportation systems, improved safety and incident management, more efficient data management, and coordinated enrichment of local economies.

Specific examples of successful partnerships can help provide federal planners with inspiration to explore partnerships in their local parks, forests, recreation lands, installations, and other types of federal properties.


Ben Rasmussen

Public Lands Team Leader with the USDOT Volpe Center Read More

Jonah Chiarenza

Community Planner with the USDOT Volpe Center

Contact Info

James Potter,