A Case Study in Issue Management for the National Park Service -

A Multi-Use Park on the North Rim of the Middle Snake River Canyon

July, 2000

James Kent Associates (JKA) was retained by Mr. Neil King, of the National Park Service and the South Central Idaho Tourism and Recreation Development Association (SCITDRA) in 2000 to offer community-based guidance in the development of a multi-use park on 8,000 acres of the north rim of the Middle Snake River Canyon. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had designated some of the lands on the north rim for disposal, sparking an outcry from area residents who considered the north rim their "backyard." Using its time-tested Discovery Process™ to enter the routines of the community to identify informal networks, their communication pathways and the range of citizen issues related to that landscape, JKA was able to offer decision-makers first-hand information about the issues and the opportunities for creating a community-supported park.

The Discovery Process revealed numerous examples of stewardship of the area which were organized informally in the community. For example, several doctors and medical professionals, who used the area for long-distance running, organized annual clean-up events. Four generations of shooters were identified for which the area was a sacred family place. Off-highway vehicle users were active in use and in trail maintenance. By getting underneath the rhetoric expressed at public meetings, JKA positioned citizen networks to tell their stories and to showcase their vision for the land in a one day visioning process held in tents on-site of the north rim. With the positive energy generated by that event, citizens and agencies went on to mature their collaborative relationships and create a long-term plan for the use and administration of the area.

Today, the area is known as one that has preserved local uses while accommodating visitors and it has maintained the multiple-use ethic so valued by nearby residents. It is called the North Rim Park.



©Copyright James Kent Associates
Cobalt Web Designs